Bada-bing bada-boom — and let the trumpets resound! On Monday evening RAI revealed the 22 participating singers for the 2017 edition of the traditional Sanremo Music Festival. They will sing-it-out for honour and glory — and the ticket to Eurovision 2017 in Ukraine.
Kicking off on February 7, the contest will feature — just like every year — a laundry list of established Italian artists. They are among the most successful in the land, including Fiorella Mannoia, Giusy Ferreri and Eurovision legend Al Bano. Don’t start searching YouTube just yet: You won’t be able to hear the songs until the first performance on the stage, as required by sanremese tradition.
Carlo Conti — veteran host and artistic director — will guide viewers through the five-episode festival, which will turn 67 in February. It’s old, but it’s still TV gold and remains the most watched and most talked-about television program in the country.
SANREMO 2017 PARTICIPANTS
AL BANO – “DI ROSE E DI SPINE”
Sanremo legend Al Bano Carrisi is the act housewives cannot live without. In 2017 he will record his fifteenth appearance in the contest! He also competed at Eurovision twice with his ex-wife Romina Power, first in 1976, when “We’ll live it all again” placed seventh, and in 1985 when “Magic oh magic” placed again seventh.
BIANCA ATZEI – “ORA ESISTI SOLO TU”
ALESSIO BERNABEI – “Nel mezzo di un applauso”
Alessio is a regular at the festival. In fact, 2017 will mark his third participation in a row after his debut as part of the band Dear Jack with “Il mondo esplode tranne noi” in 2015, and as a soloist with “Noi siamo infinito” in 2016.
MICHELE BRAVI – “IL DIARIO DEGLI ERRORI”
Michele Bravi conquered the seventh edition of The X Factor with his #1 hit “La vita e la felicità“. But afterwards he only achieved moderate success, so Sony dropped him. Last year he reinvented himself through YouTube, which helped him land a new record deal with Universal Music. The result was his latest album “I hate music“.
CHIARA – “Nessun posto è casa mia”
CLEMENTINO – “Ragazzi fuori”
Along with Rocco Hunt, Clementino represents the rap scene from Naples, mixing Italian and Neapolitan in his songs. An example is “Quando sono lontano” — his debut entry in Sanremo 2016.
LODOVICA COMELLO – “Il cielo non mi basta”
Lodovica is an actress, singer, dancer and TV host who gained international popularity for her role as “Francesca” in the Argentine Disney Channel series, Violetta. She has also published two albums: “Universo” and “Mariposa“.
GIGI D’ALESSIO – “LA PRIMA STELLA”
Gigi D’Alessio is the most prominent artist of the “neomelodico” genre — a niche sung in Neapolitan and tied to southern Italy. He has already participated four times: in 2000 with “Non dirgli mai“, in 2001 with “Tu che ne sai“, in 2005 with “L’amore che non c’è” and in 2012 with “Respirare“.
ELODIE – “TUTTA COLPA MIA”
Short pink hair and a rough voice — it can only be Elodie Di Patrizi, the runner-up from the fifteenth series of Amici di Maria De Filippi. This year she released her debut EP including the gold single “Un’altra vita“. On a funny note: her flat mate, and one of her best friends, is Emma Marrone!
GIUSY FERRERI – “FATALMENTE MALE”
The “Italian Amy Winehouse” is back for another shot after two attempts — in 2011 with “Il mare immenso” and in 2014 with “Ti porto a cena con me“. She is the most successful female artist coming out of a talent show, having sold almost 1.8 million records since her debut on The X Factor in 2008.
FRANCESCO GABBANI – “Occidentali’s karma”
Francesco rose to fame this year after winning the Newcomer’s section of Sanremo thanks to his platinum banging tune “Amen“. Amen, indeed!
GIULIA LUZI & RAIGE – “Togliamoci la voglia”
Giulia Luzi is an actress and singer. She rose to fame for her role as “Giulietta” in the musical Romeo e Giulietta – Ama e cambia il mondo, and later took part in the fifth series of Your face sounds familiar. Raige is an emerging rapper who gained attention with the song “Dimenticare (Mai)” feat. Annalisa.
FIORELLA MANNOIA – “CHE SIA BENEDETTA”
Easily the biggest name on the list, Fiorella Mannoia is one of the most appreciated artists in the land, having been a regular on the charts since 1981 when she debuted in Sanremo with “Caffè nero bollente“. All of her entries in the festival have become Italian music standard-bearers: “Come si cambia” (1984), “Quello che le donne non dicono” (1987), “Le notti di maggio” (1988).
MARCO MASINI – “Spostato di un secondo”
Marco Masini is an emblem of the 90’s thanks to the outspoken lyrics of his hits like “Vaffanculo” and “Bella stronza“. He’s recorded seven participations in Sanremo with two gold medals: in 1990 with “Disperato” and in 2004 with “L’uomo volante“.
ERMAL META – “Vietato morire”
The Albanian-Italian songwriter has competed in Sanremo’s Newcomers’ category three times: in 2006 with “Rido… forse mi sbaglio“, in 2010 with “Buio e luce” and in 2016 with “Odio le favole“. He has also composed songs for Eurovision stars Marco Mengoni, Emma Marrone and Francesca Michielin.
FABRIZIO MORO – “PORTAMI VIA”
Part of the significant wave of millennial songwriters from Rome, Fabrizio Moro has already hit the Sanremo stage four times, winning the Newcomer’s category in 2007 with “Pensa” — a song that spoke out against the Mafia and all kinds of violence.
NESLI & ALICE PABA – “DO RETTA A TE”
They’re a couple bound by the same manager — the producer Brando. Nesli is a rapper who entered Sanremo in 2015 with “Buona fortuna amore” and Alice Paba is the young winner of the fourth and last season of The Voice of Italy.
RON – “L’ottava meraviglia”
In 1996 Rosalino Cellamare’s long career as a songwriter culminated with his Sanremo win with “Vorrei incontrarti fra cent’anni“, a duet with Tosca.
PAOLA TURCI – “FATTI BELLA PER TE”
Inseparable from her guitar, the songwriter Paola Turci returns for the tenth time. She won the Newcomers’ category and the Critics’ Prize in 1989 with “Bambini“.
SAMUEL – “VEDRAI”
As the voice of the band Subsonica, Samuel Romano has led the alternative electro-rock scene in Italy since the 90’s. The band took part in Sanremo once previously, with “Tutti i miei sbagli“. He launched his solo career in 2016 with the hit “La risposta“.
SERGIO SYLVESTRE – “Con te”
Standing 6′ 10″ tall, Sergio Sylvestre is big. And he’s also talented, having won the fifteenth series of Amici di Maria De Filippi. The Italian-American singer, born in Los Angeles, released his debut EP this year. It includes the gold single “Big boy“.
MICHELE ZARRILLO – “MANI NELLE MANI”
Three years ago Michele Zarrillo suffered a heart attack. Sanremo will mark his return to performing for the general public after eleven participations in the past. His biggest hit, “Cinque giorni“, came out in 1994.
Last May Francesca Michielin finished 16th in the final with her sweet ballad “No Degree of Separation”. Do you think any of Sanremo 2017’s acts can improve on her result? Let us know in the comments box below!