Zucchero is an Italian singer-songwriter famous for soft-rock ballads like "Diamante" and the powerful and touching hit, "I Don't Know." But despite being known for his ballads, Zucchero is no stranger to up-tempo tunes. Fans are sure to rise to their feet to dance along with fast songs like "Chocabeck," "Baila Morena" and "Per Colpa Di Chi." Other songs by Zucchero evoke the work of artists like Miles Davis (with whom he collaborated on the gritty, free-jazz tune, "Dune Mosse") or Phil Collins (particularly the track, "Senza Una Donna," from his 1987 album Blue's).
Zucchero has sold a jaw-dropping 50 million albums worldwide, and collaborated with musical greats Sting, Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton, the late Miles Davis and countless others. He even sang alongside opera legend Luciano Pavarotti.
Zucchero in two languages
Zucchero records most of his music in Italian, but he has also recorded several songs in English to reach a broader audience with his lyrics. However, Zucchero expressed frustration when trying to record his songs in English, in a 1997 interview with New Strait Times. According to the artist, his use of slang translates poorly to English, and robs the songs of some of the sarcasm infused throughout his lyrics. A Zucchero tour may feature any of his Italian or English songs.
Zucchero awards and critical acclaim
An impressively accomplished musician, Zucchero has won a lengthy slate of awards for his soulful, introspective tunes. Among others, Zucchero has won six Wind Music Awards, two World Music Awards and six IFPI Europe Platinum Awards, and he received a Grammy nomination in 2007. He is even a recipient of an Order of Merit of the Italian Republic -- a remarkably prestigious distinction.
Although he goes by the stage name Zucchero Fornaciari, Zucchero was born Adelmo Fornaciari, in 1955. Zucchero's exposure to early American soul artists like Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye helped forge his musical style. He began to compose his own songs at the age of 13, primarily by fusing his love for soul music with elements of traditional Italian pop music.
By 1970, Zucchero began performing as a professional musician. He built momentum over the decade, but didn't achieve widespread commercial success until the release of the 1987 album, Blue's. While Blue's was initially the best-selling Italian record of all time, it was overtaken two years later by the even better-selling Oro Incenso & Birra.
In the years since, Zucchero has proven a prolific artist, recording a dozen studio albums and two live albums, along with several compilation projects, more than 60 singles and the soundtrack for the 1988 film, Snack Bar Budapest. Zucchero lives in Italy, but regularly tours across Europe and North America. Black Cat, released in 2016, has drawn critical praise for its style, which is mostly reminiscent of his work on Oro Incenso & Birra.