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Gianna Nannini: Italy’s biggest rock star turns 70

Gianna Nannini: Italy’s biggest rock star turns 70
Gianna Nannini: Italy’s biggest rock star turns 70

For her 70th birthday, rock legend Gianna Nannini is being rebellious as usual – and insists that she is only 41 years old.

It cannot be said that Gianna Nannini is particularly keen on turning 70. While the Italian rock legend has been promoting her new album “Sei nel l’anima” and one entitled “Die schöne Rebellin” in recent weeks, she has certainly not missed an opportunity to make it clear that she has no intention of submitting to this arbitrary numbering. In almost every interview she made the surprising statement that she will only be 41 in 2024 – if at all – because she experienced a kind of rebirth in 1983.

Second birth in Cologne on the Rhine

The singer, who was officially born in Siena on June 14, 1954, says that her second birth did not take place in her Italian homeland, but in Germany. On the serious background to this unusual statement: “Germany means a lot to me, I was born here for the second time in 1983. I was in Conny Plank’s studio in Cologne during the recording of the album ‘Fotoromanza’ when I had a serious psychological crisis and no longer knew who I was. A part of me died, another emerged. That’s why I’m not turning 70 now, but only 41!”

Conny Plank (1940-1987), the legendary German music producer, in whose studio in Wolperath near Cologne, in addition to Gianna Nannini, countless other bands such as Kraftwerk, Can, Ultravox and the Eurythmics were given the finishing touches in terms of sound, not only helped her out of the crisis in 1983, but also gave her the self-confidence to do her own thing musically.

“He advised me to just listen to my soul,” Nannini says in retrospect. This also meant singing exclusively in Italian and developing a specifically Italian version of soulful rock music. With mega hits like “Bello e impossibile” and “I maschi” she implemented this concept with great success and became one of the most famous European rock acts of the 1980s.

“I was born without gender”

The year of her rebirth is also the focus of her new album “Sei nel l’anima” (“You are in my soul”). The noisy opener entitled “1983” is all about this breakthrough into herself, which also brought with it a new awareness of the sexual level of her identity. The chorus of the song says, among other things: “1983, I was born without a gender.”

she explained the striking line of text with the following combative words: “‘Born without gender’ is something I want to convey to people. Gender is a stupid word, a stupid mechanism of one against the other. Black and white. Men and women. You can go to hell! Hahaha.”

Scandalous pregnancy at 54 years

She impressively demonstrated in 2010 that she cares just as little about age categories as she does about heterosexual role models when she became pregnant for the first time at the age of 54, while already in a relationship with her current wife. When she proudly presented herself with her baby bump on the cover of the Italian “Vanity Fair”, she sparked lively discussions not only in her home country.

Daughter follows in her rebellious footsteps

Shortly before her 70th birthday, her daughter, who has now grown into a teenager, has obviously learned a lot from her stubborn mother. “In November, my daughter Penelope will be 14 years old,” she said in the conversation. “She is very independent and self-confident, and doesn’t want to be influenced by me. I think that’s good! Of course she likes Taylor Swift. But she has forbidden me to sing in English, she says I would then sound like autotune.”

Gianna Nannini will most likely continue to adhere to this ban imposed by her rebellious daughter, which also reflects the groundbreaking announcement of her former mentor Conny Plank. And the fact that she can still go wild at the age of 70, like a 41-year-old, will be something we can experience live during her “Sei nell’anima” tour, which will take her through a total of 18 European cities between November 22nd and December 21st, 2024.

Source: Stern

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