Mina (Italian singer)

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Mina in the Teatro 10 television programme in 1972
Mina in the Teatro 10 television programme in 1972
Background information
Birth nameMina Anna Mazzini[1][2]
Also known asBaby Gate
Born (1940-03-25) 25 March 1940 (age 83)
Busto Arsizio, Kingdom of Italy
OriginCremona, Italy
  • Singer
  • actress
  • television presenter
Years active1958–present

Mina Anna Maria Mazzini OMRI (born 25 March 1940) or Mina Anna Quaini (for the Swiss civil registry),[2][4] known mononymously as Mina, is an Italian singer and actress. She was a staple of television variety shows[5] and a dominant figure in Italian pop music from the 1960s to the mid-1970s,[6] known for her three-octave vocal range,[7] the agility of her soprano voice,[7] and her image as an emancipated woman.[8]

In performance, Mina combined several modern styles with traditional Italian melodies and swing music, which made her the most versatile pop singer in Italian music.[5] With over 150 million records sold worldwide, she is the best-selling italian musical artist.[9][10][11] Mina dominated the country's charts for 15 years and reached an unsurpassed level of popularity. She has scored 79 albums and 71 singles on the Italian charts.[12][13]

Mina's TV appearances in 1959 were the first for a female rock and roll singer in Italy. Her loud syncopated singing earned her the nickname "Queen of Screamers".[14] The public also labeled her the "Tigress of Cremona" for her wild gestures and body shakes. When she turned to light pop tunes, Mina's chart-toppers in West Germany in 1962 and Japan in 1964 earned her the title of the best international artist in these countries.[15][16][17] Mina's more refined sensual manner was introduced in 1960 with Gino Paoli's ballad "This World We Love In", which charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.

Mina was banned from TV and radio in 1963 because her pregnancy and relationship with a married actor did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeois morals.[18] After the ban, the public broadcasting service RAI tried to continue to prohibit her songs, which were forthright in dealing with subjects such as religion, smoking and sex.[18] Mina's cool act combined sex appeal with public smoking, dyed blonde hair, and shaved eyebrows to create a "bad girl" image.[14]

Mina's voice has distinctive timbre and great power.[19][20] Her main themes are anguished love stories performed in high dramatic tones. The singer combined classic Italian pop with elements of blues, R&B and soul music during the late 1960s,[21] especially when she worked in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti. Top Italian songwriters created material with large vocal ranges and unusual chord progressions to showcase her singing skills, particularly "Brava" by Bruno Canfora (1965) and the pseudo-serial "Se telefonando" by Ennio Morricone (1966). The latter song was covered by several performers abroad. Shirley Bassey carried Mina's ballad "Grande grande grande" to charts in the U.S., UK, and other English-speaking countries in 1973. Mina's easy listening duet "Parole parole" was turned into a worldwide hit by Dalida and Alain Delon in 1974. In 1982 her disco single "Morirò per te" entered in the Billboard Hot Dance/Disco Top 100.[22][23] Mina gave up public appearances in 1978 but has continued to release popular albums and musical projects on a yearly basis to the present day.

Early life[edit]

Anna Maria Mazzini[1][24] was born into a working-class family in Busto Arsizio, Lombardy.[25] The family moved to work in Cremona in her childhood. She listened to American rock and roll and jazz records and was a frequent visitor at the Santa Tecla and the Taverna Messicana clubs of Milan, both known for promoting rock and roll.[26] After finishing high school in 1958, she attended college where she majored in accounting.[25]


Queen of Screamers (1958–1961)[edit]

While on summer holiday in Versilia on 8 August 1958, Mazzini gave an improvised performance of the song "Un'anima tra le mani" to amuse her family after a concert at the La Bussola night club.[6][27] During the following nights, Sergio Bernardini, the owner of the club, held her back in her attempts to get back on stage.[28]

Mina with her Anelli piano and a Giemmei guitar at home in Cremona, 1959

In September, she started her solo career with the backing of the band Happy Boys.[25] Her concert in September 1958, before an audience of 2,500 people at the Theatre of Rivarolo del Re, won enthusiastic approval from local critics.[29] She soon signed with Davide Matalon, owner of the small record company Italdisc. Her first single, "Non partir"/"Malatia", was produced under the stage name Mina for the Italian audience. Simultaneously, "Be Bop A Lula"/"When" was issued under the name Baby Gate for the international audience. Baby was chosen as a contrast to her 178 cm height (5 ft 10 in) – exceptionally tall for an Italian woman – and Gate as a tribute to The Golden Gate Quartet.[28][30] In December, her performance at the Sei giorni della canzone festival of Milan was described by the La Notte newspaper as the "birth of a star".[31] It was Mina's last performance with the Happy Boys, as her family refused to let her skip college for a scheduled tour of Turkey.

Less than a month after the breakup with her previous band, Mina co-founded a new group called Solitari, which consisted of a singer, a saxophonist, a pianist, a contrabassist, and a guitarist. Her first hit with the band featured Mina performed an extra-loud, syncopated version of the popular song "Nessuno" ("Nobody"), which she performed at the first rock festival in the Milan Ice Palace in February 1959.[32][33][34] Performances of the song on the TV game shows Lascia o raddoppia? and Il musichiere on 1 March and 4 April were hailed by Italian critics. The starlet signed with Elio Gigante, an experienced artist manager. In the following years, he organized her performances in the grand ballrooms of Italy.[25] Her first Italian No. 1 hit was the up-tempo "Tintarella di luna" ("Moon Tan") in September 1959, which was performed in her first musicarello (musical comedy film), Juke box – Urli d'amore. In late 1959, Matalon had her drop the name Baby Gate in favour of Mina.

Growing up (1960–1965)[edit]

In 1960, Mina made her Festival della canzone italiana in Sanremo debut with two songs. She turned to slow emotional love songs for the first time. The song "È vero" ("It's True") reached No. 8 on the Italian charts.[35] Gino Paoli's song "Il cielo in una stanza" ("The Sky in a Room") marked the beginning of the young singer's transformation from a rock and roll shrieker to a feminine inspiration for cantautori.[36] The idea for the song "Love can grow at any moment at any place" had come to Paoli while lying on a bed and looking at the purple ceiling.[37] The single topped the list of annual sales in Italy[12] and reached the Billboard Hot 100[14] as "This World We Love In". Video performances of the song were included in the musicarellos Io bacio... tu baci and Appuntamento a Ischia, and in 1990, in the soundtrack of the film Goodfellas.

At the 1961 Sanremo song festival, Mina performed two songs. "Io amo, tu ami" ("I Love, You Love") finished fourth and "Le mille bolle blu" ("A Thousand Blue Bubbles") placed fifth.[38] Disappointed with these results, Mina declared her intention of never performing at the Sanremo song festival again.

As her songs and movies were already popular abroad, Mina started to tour Spain and Japan,[39] and performed on Venezuelan TV in 1961.[40] Mina performed on Spanish TV and at the Paris Olympia hall at the beginning of 1962.[41] The presentation of her German single "Heißer Sand" on 12 March 1962 on Peter Kraus's TV show caused a boom of 40,000 record sales in ten days in Germany.[42] The record went to No. 1 and spent over half the year on the German charts in 1962.[15][43][44] Mina had six more singles on the German chart in the next two years.[15] In a listeners' poll conducted in July 1962 in Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking portion of Switzerland, Mina was voted the most popular singer in the world.[16] In May 1962, she performed in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, her version of the mambo rhythm "Moliendo Cafe" and the surf pop "Renato" peaked at No. 1 and No. 4 respectively on the Italian charts.[12] "L'eclisse twist" appeared on the flipside of "Renato", and was used on the soundtrack of Michelangelo Antonioni's feature film Eclipse.

In 1963 Mina's TV and radio career was interrupted by RAI, the Italian public broadcasting service, as she refused to cover up her relationship (and resulting pregnancy) with the married actor Corrado Pani. Mina's record sales were unaffected and due to public demand, RAI ended the ban. On 10 January 1964 she returned to the TV screen on the program La fiera dei sogni, and performed the song "Città vuota", a cover of Gene McDaniels' "It's a Lonely Town (Lonely Without You)", which was her first release on the RiFi label.[45][46] Her next single, "È l'uomo per me", a cover of Jody Miller's "He Walks Like a Man", became the biggest selling record of the year in Italy.[12] Her new melodic manner[47] was demonstrated again on 11 December 1964 TV program Il macchiettario, where she performed "Io sono quel che sono" ("I Am What I Am"). A reminder of her previous adolescent image, her single "Suna ni kieta namida" ("Tears Disappear in the Sand"), sung in Japanese, peaked at No. 1 on the Japanese singles chart and earned Mina the title of Best International Artist in Japan.[17]

The Alla ribalta 2 – Speciale per Mina television programme broadcast on 2 May 1964

The first episode of the Studio Uno live Saturday night series showcased Mina's new blond look with shaved eyebrows.[48] The shows included the brooding songs "Un bacio è troppo poco" ("One Kiss is Not Enough") and "Un anno d'amore" ("A Year of Love"),[49] a cover of Nino Ferrer's "C'est irreparable".[50] In the same series she performed "Brava" ("Good"), a rhythmic jazz number specially written by Bruno Canfora to demonstrate the Mina's vocal range and performing skills.[25] Her Studio Uno album topped the Italian chart that year. Her recordings of 1965 included the scatting performance of "Spirale Waltz", the theme song for the film The 10th Victim.

Independence (1966–1968)[edit]

Maurizio Costanzo and Ghigo De Chiara wrote the lyrics of "Se telefonando" ("If Over the Phone") as the theme for the TV program Aria condizionata in spring 1966.[51] The lyrics were composed in a dark, Hal David mode.[14] The serialist composer Ennio Morricone[52] was asked to compose the music. Mina and the three songwriters met in a RAI rehearsal room at Via Teulada, Rome. Morricone started to repeat a short musical theme of just three notes (by his term a micro-cell)[52] on an upright piano. He had copied the snippet of melody from the siren of a police car in Marseilles. After a few bars Mina grabbed the lyrics sheet and started to sing as if she had known the tune before. Composed in this way, "Se telefonando" is a pop song with eight transitions of tonality that builds tension throughout the chorus.[7][51] Morricone's arrangement featured a sophisticated combination of melodic trumpet lines, Hal Blaine-style drumming, a string set, a 1960s Europop female choir, and intense subsonic-sounding trombones.[14]

"Se telefonando" was presented in May 1966 in a Studio Uno episode and in August the same year at Aria condizionata. The single peaked at No. 7 on the Italian chart and was 53rd in the annual list of sales. The album Studio Uno 66 featured the song as one of the standout tracks along with "Ta-ra-ta-ta" and "Una casa in cima al mondo". It was the fifth biggest selling album of the year in Italy.[13]

In 1966, Mina started working with the Swiss Broadcasting Service and the Orchestra Radiosa in Lugano. She founded the independent record label PDU in collaboration with her father. The first record issued under the label was Dedicato a mio padre (Dedicated to My Father). Mina's growing interest in Brazilian music resulted in "La banda" ("The Band"), a Chico Buarque song, which reached No. 3 in Italy. Mina continued to perform on Italian TV, and presented "Zum zum zum" on the spring 1967 variety series Sabato sera, accompanied by the NATO naval band. The series also included "La coppia più bella del mondo" ("The Most Beautiful Couple in the World"), a duet with Adriano Celentano. The title of the song "Sono, come tu mi vuoi" ("I Am, as You Want Me to Be") was taken from Luigi Pirandello's play Come tu mi vuoi. The lyrics talk about the manic attention of the press on an artist's private life.[53] Another hit from Sabato sera was "L'immensità" ("Immensity"), which was re-scored by Augusto Martelli and released as "La inmensidad" in Spain and Latin American countries.[54]

RAI broadcast the third episode of Senza Rete ("Without Safety Net") live on 18 July 1968 from the Auditorio A of the corporation's regional headquarters in Naples.[55] The program presented Mina's homage to Luigi Tenco, who had recently died. She turned his song "Se stasera sono qui" ("If I Stay Here Tonight") into a rigorous piece of soul music[21] in the score of Pino Calvi. She celebrated the 10th anniversary of her career with a concert at La Bussola, backed by the Orchestra Augusto Martelli.[56] The concert was recorded and issued as Mina alla Bussola dal vivo.[57]

Canzonissima 1968 was a Saturday night prime time variety show that aired on Rai Uno from September 1968 to January 1969. It was hosted by Mina, Walter Chiari and Paolo Panelli.[58] The orchestrations were scored by the conductors Bruno Canfora and Augusto Martelli. "Sacumdì Sacumdà", Mina's talking and laughing version of Carlos Imperial's bossa nova "Nem Vem Que Não Tem", narrowly escaped a ban by RAI because of its irreverent lyrics. The song was performed as part of a musical fantasy, back to back with "Quelli che hanno un cuore", her intense version of "Anyone Who Had a Heart".[59] Another interpretation of a Dionne Warwick song was "La voce del silenzio" ("Silent Voices") by Paolo Limiti and Elio Isola, presented in a live session during the show.[25] "Niente di niente" ("Nothing at All") was her version of the Delfonics' "Break Your Promise". The series also included the songs "Fantasia", "La musica è finita" ("The Music is Over") and the elegant "Un colpo al cuore" ("Heart Attack"). "Un colpo al cuore" ended up as No. 68 on the best-selling singles chart for that year in Italy.[60] Each show was closed by Mina singing "Vorrei che fosse amore" ("Wish It Was Love"), a piece of atmospheric music by Bruno Canfora that was No. 50 on the best-selling singles chart for 1968 in Italy.[60] A selection of songs from the series were issued as the album Canzonissima '68.[59]

Mogol-Battisti (1969–1973)[edit]

After a break of three months, Mina returned and recorded the song "Non credere" ("Disbelieve"), composed by Luigi Clausetti and Pietro Soffici, with lyrics by Mogol, in April.[61] The single became the third biggest-selling record of the year in Italy.[62] Mogol and his fellow composer Lucio Battisti, along with the Premiata Forneria Marconi on back-up instrumentals, worked with Mina on several songs as a result of the success of "Non credere". The team produced a set of songs including "Io e te da soli" ("You and Me Alone"), "Insieme" ("Together"), "Amor mio" ("Love of Mine"), "Io vivrò senza te" ("I'll Live without You").[46][63] " One of the first introductions of the new repertoire was the Senza Rete live televised concert from the Auditorio A in Naples on 20 January 1970. The material provided by Mogol-Battisti was the core for five albums. Among them, ...bugiardo più che mai...più incosciente che mai... was Mina's first independent album to reach No. 1 of the weekly Italian charts and was the biggest selling album of 1969 in Italy. ...quando tu mi spiavi in cima a un batticuore... was seventh on the annual record chart of 1970. Del mio meglio... (My Best...) was second in 1971. Mina was the biggest seller of 1972. The latter two albums were recorded during a break from live performances to give birth to her daughter Benedetta.

Mina with Alberto Lupo, 1972

Mina's comeback took place at RAI's variety series Teatro 10 in spring 1972. One of the highlights of the series was a selection of Battisti's songs performed in duet with the composer. The shows also included "Balada para mi muerte" ("Ode to My Death"), a nuevo tango duet with Ástor Piazzolla at the bandoneón, backed by the Argentinian group Conjunto 9. "Grande grande grande", arranged by Pino Presti,[64] was the second biggest-selling single of the year in Italy. The successes pushed Enrico Riccardi to take inspiration from Battisti's style in Riccardi's composition "Fiume azzurro", which earned another place in the top 100 of annual record sales in Italy.[65]

The final number of the eight Teatro 10 episodes was "Parole parole" ("Words Words"), a duet with Alberto Lupo. The song is an easy listening dialogue between Mina's singing and Lupo's declamation. The lyrics' theme are hollow words. These intertwine the lady's lamentation of the end of love and the lies she has to hear with the male protagonist's recitation. In the dialog she scoffs at the compliments he gives her, calling them parole – just words. The single was released in April 1972 and topped the Italian charts. It was covered by numerous Italian and French duets.[66]

Mina said she would be retiring from public appearances after an exclusive concert at the La Bussola Club on 16 September. Thousands of people turned up at the nightclub's doorstep.[67][68][69] Gianni Ferrio's Orchestra featured Gianni Basso on tenor saxophone and Oscar Valdambrini on trumpet.[68]

Mina lost her husband Virgilio Crocco in a car accident in 1973. She continued her career with the top Italian chart hits "E poi..." ("And Then...") and "L'importante è finire" ("It's Important to Finish"). She recorded the theme song "Fa presto, fa piano" ("Works Quickly, Works Quietly") for the film La sculacciata, issued in 1974.

Since 1974[edit]

Mina's last live TV appearance was the final episode of the Milleluci series on 16 March 1974. Mina was the hostess of the series alongside Raffaella Carrà. During the series, she explored different musical styles in the songs "Everything's Alright", "Mack the Knife", "Night and Day", and "Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You)". After "Non gioco più" ("The Game Is Over"), a blues duet with the harmonica player Toots Thielemans, Mina announced her withdrawal from public performances.[70]

Her last appearance on TV was her performance of "Ancora ancora ancora". The video was the final number of the "Mille e una luce" show on 1 July 1978.[71] Her last concert appearances, a series of thirteen fully booked concerts at La Bussola in 1978, were cut short due to her illness. Mina gave her last public performance on 23 August 1978 at the Bussoladomani theatre. It was recorded and issued as Mina Live '78.[71]

Mina backed by the orchestra conducted by bassist/arranger Pino Presti on occasion of her last public performances at the Bussoladomani Theatre in 1978.

Mina continued to release albums on a yearly basis with her son Massimiliano Pani as the producer. Between 1972 and 1995, she published a double album each year. From 1973, her LPs and CDs have been characterized by artistic motifs of the designers Luciano Tallarini, Gianni Ronco and the photographer Mauro Balletti. From the mid-1980s, the design of the album covers was trusted to Balletti alone. All of Mina's records under the PDU label have reached the Italian Top 100. A large part of her work has consisted of covering well-known songs; she has dedicated tribute albums to The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Renato Zero, Domenico Modugno, Lucio Battisti, Enzo Jannacci, the Neapolitan song, and sacred music. Starting in 1989, all of her records included the jazzy piano playing of Danilo Rea.

After leaving the stage, her greatest chart successes have been duets. In 1985, "Questione di feeling", a duet with Riccardo Cocciante, was the 13th biggest-selling single of the year in Italy and became an evergreen (as a hit song is called in Europe). The duet album Mina Celentano, recorded with Adriano Celentano, was the biggest-selling album of 1998 in Italy. The break in Mina's TV appearances lasted until 2001, when she released footage of her recording sessions. The videos were broadcast over the Wind internet site on 30 March. This resulted in millions of visits to the site on that night, and additional millions on following days. The footage was released as the DVD Mina in Studio.

After that event, Mina's singles started to chart in Italy again. The track "Succhiando l'uva" (2002), written for her by Zucchero, peaked at No. 3 on the chart. Mina's cover of "Don't call me baby (Can't take my eyes off you)" (2003) reached No. 4 in Italy. The single "Alibi" (2007) reached No. 6 in Italy. The triple CD The Platinum Collection reached No. 1 on the Italian charts. So did Olio (1999), Veleno (2002), Bula Bula (2005), Todavía (2007), Le migliori (2016) and Maeba (2018). Mina's later releases included duets with Mick Hucknall, Fabrizio De André, Piero Pelù, Adriano Celentano, Lucio Dalla, Joan Manuel Serrat, Chico Buarque, Miguel Bosé, Tiziano Ferro, Giorgia and Seal. In recent years, Mina has been writing a weekly column on the front page of La Stampa (from 2000 until 2011) and a page in the Italian edition of the magazine Vanity Fair, where she answered fan letters (from 2003 until 2015).[27]

Mina continues to publish gold selling albums to the present. She alternates pop albums with jazz-arranged projects and other styles, and keeps surprising with new musical collaborations. Meanwhile, her voice and songs are omnipresent in radio and TV commercials, theme tune of sports programs, talent shows (where they sing classics), tribute shows, new covers, and even as samples in the recordings of other artists (for example rapper Mondo Marcio). Although not appearing live, she opened and closed the 2009 national Sanremo Music Festival with her version of the Puccini opera aria "Nessun dorma". Her voice was also present, singing a cover in video's by main sponsor TIM, at the Festival editions of 2017 and 2018. The latter year, in the final night, a digitized version of Mina was shown performing Another Day of Sun, a cover of the song from the La La Land musical soundtrack, as a three-dimensional hologram of space ship commander Mina, being projected onto the Ariston festival stage.

In 2016, there was quite a hype about a second album of Mina and Celentano together: Le Migliori. It became the best-selling album of the year in Italy. In 2018, Mina's new album MAEBA in 2018 debuted again at the Number 1 spot of the Italian albums and vinyls hitparade.

In 2023 a surprising intergenerational duet of Blanco (20) and Mina (83), "Un briciolo di allegria", made number 1 in the Italian hitparade for 5 consecutive weeks.

Musical style and public image[edit]


Mina is a soprano with great agility and a range of three octaves.[5][7] Swingy and anti-melodic in her early years ("Tintarella di luna", 1959), her singing later acquired high dramatic tones.[5] Louis Armstrong famously declared her to be "the greatest white singer in the world".[72][73][74]

Queen of Screamers[edit]

Caught up in the wave of rock and roll sweeping across Italy in 1958, Mina listened to American records,[26] and she was a frequent visitor at the Derby Club,[75] the Santa Tecla, and the Taverna Messicana clubs of Milan, which promoted rock and roll music.[26] Mina's repertoire at the beginning of her career included clumsy imitations of British and American rock and jazz songs, while her extra-loud and syncopated version of the song "Nessuno" showcased her excellent sense of rhythm.[27][28] Earlier in 1958, Domenico Modugno had caused astonishment by raising his hands in the air during his performance of "Nel blu dipinto di blu" ("Volare"). In Mina's first TV appearances she further broke with tradition by shaking her head, hands, and hips to the rhythm.[8][27] The writer Edoardo Sanguineti recalled the Italian public's first encounter with the enthusiastic singer as "for many people a memorable experience, ... a revelation."[34] TV host Mario Riva named her one of the urlatori [it] ("screamers"),[19][20] for her distinctive timbre and power. Later, the public called Mina "the Queen of Screamers".[14][27] Her extravagant gestures earned her another nickname – "the Tigress of Cremona" (la Tigre di Cremona).[76][77]

Grown up[edit]

Mina with Lelio Luttazzi in 1969

Mina introduced her new sensual manner[47] in her presentation of the ballad "Il cielo in una stanza" in 1960.[36] Three years later, her love affair with Corrado Pani challenged the moral foundations of Italy, a country where divorce was illegal and single motherhood was considered shameful. Thus, her non-conformist choices represented the emancipation of women in Italy, which did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeois virtues prevalent at the time.[8] The subsequent ban from performing on Italian TV and radio channels further developed Mina's image as an independent bad girl,[8][14] which she emphasized with her choice of song themes.[27] An example was her performance of "Sacumdì Sacumdà" on air after RAI had expressed their displeasure with the song's lyrics about a girl's encounter with the Devil.[59] Other songs that RAI initially banned as immoral were "Ta-ra-ta-ta" (dealing forthrightly with smoking),[78] "La canzone di Marinella", and "L'importante è finire" (alluding to sex without love).[79] Mina's cool act[14] featured sex appeal, public smoking,[78] dyed blonde hair, shaved eyebrows, and heavy use of eye make-up.[27]

The main themes of Mina's songs were distressing love stories.[27] Her style was to interpret them in a highly dramatic way by using gestures and body language to bring the story alive.[59] Mina's performance was typically characterised by expressive intensity, subtle variations, and original phrasing.[7] The music critic Gherardo Gentili has noted her interpretive skills as such: "By Mina, a word became the word, a note became the note."[80]

To demonstrate Mina's vocal range, the composer Bruno Canfora penned the song "Brava", and Ennio Morricone wrote "Se telefonando" with numerous transitions of tonality.[14][51] More songs were composed exclusively for Mina and arranged for RAI's all-star orchestras for performance on the TV variety series Studio uno, Sabato sera, Canzonissima and Teatro 10. Mina (alongside Carmen Villani) pioneered by combining classic Italian pop and swing music with features of blues, R&B and soul music, particularly in the songs "Se stasera sono qui" and "Deborah".[21] She helped to incorporate new styles into Italian pop music, including nuevo tango, as seen in her duet "Balada para mi muerte" with Ástor Piazzolla.[citation needed]


When she altered her musical style in 1969, Mina changed her hairdo from short and straight to long blonde curls, and started to wear a black minidress. Mogol's and Lucio Battisti's first songs, particularly "Insieme" and "Io e te da soli",[81] showcased Mina's blues and soul skills. Around the time of their collaboration, Mina turned toward middle-of-the-road pop.[14] Battisti's melodies were sophisticated and had a complex chord sequence. The songs were characterized by frequent changes of rhythm, pauses, and dialogues between the voice and the orchestra.[65] Another characterizing feature was an instrumental introduction without a rhythmic base.[citation needed]

Mina Latina[edit]

A fan of bossa nova, Mina recorded in Spanish and Portuguese from the start of her career and currently enjoys a fan base in Spain and Latin America. The Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar has used Mina's songs in his movie soundtracks. In 2001, Mina published the compilation album Colección Latina. It includes standards in Spanish, as well as Spanish covers of her originals. In 2003, the musical Mina... che cosa sei? based on Mina's songs was staged in Argentina, starring Elena Roger. It was nominated for four Premios ACE in 2003 and 2004, among them Best Musical, and won the Premio Clarín for Best Musical.[82] In 2007, Mina published Todavía, an album in Spanish and Portuguese, which reached No. 36 on the Spanish charts and No. 1 on the Italian charts.[83] It included duets with Joan Manuel Serrat, Miguel Bosé, Diego Torres, Chico Buarque, and Diego El Cigala.[citation needed]


Collaborations with arrangers[edit]

Collaborations with other performers[edit]


Mina has scored 77 albums and 71 singles on the Italian charts.[12][13] She is the only artist to land an album at the top of the Italian charts in each of the six decades from the start of record keeping in 1965. She released an album every year during 1958–2003, and continues to release new albums and singles.

President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi presented her with the Second Class of the Italian Order of Merit on 1 June 2001.[85]

British singer Dusty Springfield referenced Mina in performance.[86]

A number of Mina's songs were turned into hits by singers in other languages:

To celebrate Mina's 70th anniversary, the la Repubblica newspaper held a reader's poll to pick Mina's best song of all time. In a vote of 30,000 participants, "Se telefonando" emerged at the top of the list.[92]

Awards, nominations, honours and records[edit]


  • Nomination and performance at Sei giorni della canzone with "Proteggimi"


  • Nomination and performance at Canzonissima with "Nessuno" and "Tua"[94]
  • Juke Box d'oro Award[94]
  • Microfono d'oro Award[94]


  • Nomination and performance at the Sanremo Music Festival with "Non sei felice" and "E' vero"
    • Seventh place
  • Nomination and performance at Canzonissima with "Tintarella di luna", "Il cielo in una stanza", "Folle banderuola", "E' vero", "Na sera 'e maggio", "O Sarracino", "Ma l'amore no", "Violino tzigan" e "Due note"
    • Finalist with "Tintarella di luna"
    • Finalist with "Na sera 'e maggio"


  • Nomination and performance at the Sanremo Music Festival with:
    • "Io amo tu ami" (Fourth place)
    • "Le mille bolle blu" (Fifth place)


  • Nomination and performance at Canzonissima with "Il cielo in una stanza" and "Stringimi forte i polsi"
    • Finalist with "Il cielo in una stanza"


  • Best international artist Award, in Japan
  • Best Album of the Year Critics Award for the album "Mina"
  • Oscar del disco '64 Critics Award for the album "Mina"


  • Nomination and performance at the Mostra Internazionale di Musica Leggera with "L'ultima occasione"


  • Nomination and performance at the Mostra Internazionale di Musica Leggera with "Ta-ra-ta-ta"
  • Gondola d'oro Award at the Mostra Internazionale di Musica Leggera


  • Nomination and performance at the Mostra Internazionale di Musica Leggera with "Ta-ra-ta-ta"


  • Targa Tenco in the category Performer of the Year with the album "Rane supreme"[95]


Grand Officer Order of Merit of the Italian Republic: Awarded the second highest civil honour in Italy, by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi on 1 June 2001.[96]


  • Ambrogino d'oro medal by the city of Milan[97]


  • The web event, live on the portal Wind, which portrays some video clips of the artist in the recording studio, has recorded over 20 million hits, and was one of the most followed of all times in Italy.[98]
  • She is the most charted artist in the Italian charts, and between albums and singles, she has scored 24 number one, 61 top-three, 86 top-five, 114 top-ten and 130 top-twenty, for a total of 79 albums and 71 singles in the chart.

Albums: records in Italy[edit]

Weekly chart[99] Year-end chart[99] General chart[99]
No. 1 Top 3 Top 5 Top 10 Top 20 Top 30 No. 1 Top 3 Top 5 Top 10 Top 20 Top 100 No. 1 Top 3 Top 5 Top 10 Top 20 Top 100
15 34 52 62 64 67 4 7 10 20 36 72 16 37 56 70 74 79

Singles: records in Italy[edit]

Weekly chart[99] Year-end chart[99] General chart[99]
No. 1 Top 3 Top 5 Top 10 Top 20 Top 30 No. 1 Top 3 Top 5 Top 10 Top 20 Top 30 No. 1 Top 3 Top 5 Top 10 Top 20 Top 40
8 24 30 44 56 59 1 7 8 10 16 25 8 24 30 44 56 62

Personal life[edit]

In her early teens, Mina was a competitive swimmer for the Canottieri Baldesio sports club in Cremona, attended by the elite of the Cremonese bourgeoisie at the time.[46] She met her first boyfriend, a fullback for the U.S. Cremonese football club, at the swimming pool at her age of 16.[46]

Mina fell in love with actor Corrado Pani in 1962. Their relationship shocked Italian audiences as he was already married although separated from his wife. Their son, Massimiliano Pani, was born on 18 April 1963. Owing to Mina's refusal to hide the relationship, the singer was banned from performing on public Italian television or radio channels. As her record sales were unaffected and audiences demanded to see Mina on the air, RAI was forced to end the ban and let Mina return to television on 10 January 1964. Within a year, her affair with Corrado ended.[citation needed]

Mina and Virgilio Crocco

Mina's brother Alfredo Mazzini died in a car accident in 1965. A year later she and her father moved to Lugano, Switzerland. Mina's intimate relationships, however, remained in Italy, as she had a brief affair with the actor Walter Chiari. A later relationship with actor Gian Maria Volonté ended after she found out about Volonté's affair with an actress. Mina's great love of the late 1960s, with whom she had a relationship that lasted three years and almost led to marriage, was the composer Augusto Martelli. Her second spouse was Virgilio Crocco, a journalist for Il Messaggero, in 1970. As a result of their marriage, her legal name was changed to Anna Maria Mazzini Crocco.[24] Their daughter Benedetta Mazzini was born on 11 November 1971. Crocco died in a car accident in 1973.[100]

Mina became engaged to her current husband, cardiologist Eugenio Quaini,[101] in 1981. They were married on 10 January 2006 in Lugano. She obtained Swiss citizenship in 1989.[24] As required in that country, she took on her husband's last name and her legal name became Anna Maria Quaini.[2][4] For the public, the Italian civil registry and its Italian documents, however, she still addresses herself as Mina Mazzini,[85] also seen in her website's domain name.[102]


Studio albums



Film roles showing year released, title, role played, director and notes
Title Year Role Director Notes
Juke Box: Urli d'amore 1959 Singer Mauro Morassi Cameo appearance
I Teddy Boys della canzone 1960 Minuccia Domenico Paolella
Sanremo - La grande sfida 1960 Herself Piero Vivarelli Cameo appearance
Appuntamento a Ischia 1960 Herself Mario Mattoli Mid-credit cameo
Madri pericolose 1960 Nicky Improta Domenico Paolella
Howlers in the Dock 1960 Mina Lucio Fulci
Mina… fuori la guardia! 1961 Valeria Armando Tamburella
Io bacio… tu baci 1961 Marcella Piero Vivarelli
Appuntamento in Riviera 1962 Mina Mario Mattoli
Des haben die Mädchen gern 1962 Herself Kurt Nachmann Cameo appearance
Canzoni nel mondo 1963 Herself Vittorio Sala Documentary film
Per amore... per magia... 1967 Aichesiade Duccio Tessari


Television roles showing year released, title, role played, network and notes
Title Year Role Network Notes
Studio Uno 1961–1966 Herself / Presenter Rai 1 Variety show (seasons 1, 3–4)
Sabato sera 1967 Herself / Presenter Rai 1 Variety show
TuttoTotò 1967 Night club singer Rai 1 Episode: "Totò ye ye"
Canzonissima 1968–1969 Herself / Presenter Rai 1 Musical/variety program (season 6)
Senza Rete 1968–1970 Herself / co-host Rai 1 Variety show (seasons 1–3)
Non cantare, spara 1968 Wilhelmina Rai 1 Episode: "Seconda puntata"
Noches de Europa 1969 Herself / Musical guest La 2 Episode dated Nov. 8, 1969
Teatro 10 1972 Herself / Performer Rai 1 Variety show (season 3)
Milleluci 1974 Herself / co-host Rai 1 Variety show


  • Mina, come sono by Gianni Pettenati (Virgilio 1980)
  • Mina, la voce by Mario Guarino (Forte 1983)
  • Unicamente Mina by Flavio Merkel and Paolo Belluso (Gammalibri 1983)
  • La leggendaria Mina (PDU Italiana Edizioni Musicali S.r.l./Curci 1983)
  • Mina. Storia di un mito raccontato by Nino Romano (Rusconi 1986)
  • Mina nelle fotografie di Mauro Balletti (Campanotto 1990)
  • Mina – Le immagini e la storia di un mito (Eden 1992)
  • Mina – Mito e mistero by Nino Romano (Sperling & Kupfer 1996)
  • Mina – I miti by Antonella Giola, Daniela Teruzzi & Gherardo Gentili (Arnoldo Mondadori 1997)
  • Mina – I mille volti di una voce by Romy Padovano (Arnoldo Mondadori 1998)
  • Divina Mina by Dora Giannetti (Zelig 1998)
  • Mina by Roberta Maresci (Gremese 1998)
  • Mina – Una forza incantatrice by Franco Fabbri & Luigi Pestalozza (eds. Euresis 1998)
  • Mina – La sua vita, i suoi successi by Gianni Lucini (Sonzogno 1999)
  • Mina, il mito (Tempo Libro 1999)
  • Studio Mina by Flaviano De Luca (ed. Elle U Multimedia 1999)
  • Mina disegnata fotografata – Authors' copyright 2001
  • Mina: Gli anni Italdisc 1959–1964 by Marco Castiglioni, Fulvio Fiore, Maurizio Maiotti, Stefania Fiore, Barbara Alari and Maurizio Maiotti (Satisfaction 2001)
  • Mina 1958–2005 Ancora insieme by Marcello Bufacchi (Riuniti 2005)
  • Mina talk. Vent'anni di interviste. 1959–1979 by Fernando Fratarcangeli (Coniglio 2005)
  • Mina... il fascino della tigre by Ghea Irene (Lo Vecchio 2006)
  • La Storia della Disco Music by Andrea Angeli Bufalini / Giovanni Savastano (Hoepli 2019)
  • Mina, Una Voce Universale by Luca Cerchiari (Mondadori 2020)

External links[edit]


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