Origin and Nicknames
Italian rocker Adelmo Fornaciari started his career in the 1970s and is still producing popular songs in the present day. Adelmo is commonly known by his stage name, Zucchero, which means “sugar” in Italian. He was born in northen Italy, moving towards the northeastern coast in his childhood years. Fornaciari derived the name “Zucchero” from a childhood memory during which a teacher called him “sweet as sugar.” He is especially known for his various collection of hats, earning him the nickname “the Italian mad hatman.”
Early Years and Musical Beginning
Fornaciari’s true passion has always been soccer, and he was the goalkeeper on a prevalent soccer club at a young age. After his family moved in 1971 when Adelmo was 16, he studied at a technical institute for five years where he learned to become an electrical surveyor. During these years, he was taught by an American classmate to play the guitar. Between 1970 and 1978, Adelmo played with five different bands, establishing his unique musical ability.
Sanremo and Rise to Fame
In 1982, he participated in Italy’s annual music festival Sanremo in the young musician’s category with his song “Una notte che vola via” (“A Night that Flies Away”). After performing at Sanremo again the following year, Adelmo moved to California in 1984, playing with a friend from San Francisco. During 1985, he collaborated with the Randy Jackson Band, producing the single “Donne,” (“Women”) which they performed at Sanremo. That’s right, the same Randy Jackson, who is commonly known as a judge on American Idol. (He is the one with the pink coat in the video in the link above).
Collaborations and Worldwide Success
As his musical career took off, Adelmo collaborated with many other famous musicians including Joe Cocker, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Eric Clapton. He received tremendous achievement in 1995 when the worldwide release on his album Spirito Divino (Divine Spirit) sold over 3 million copies and received a diamond disc.
During Sanremo 2009, Adelmo sang a duet with his daughter Irene, who is currently establishing her musical career. Although he was investigated in Rome for tax evasion in June 2010, the rock star denied the charges and collaborated with the justice department. His most recent album Chocabeck was released on November 3rd of this year. The single “È un peccato morir” (It’s a Shame to Die”) off the rock star’s 24th album premiered at No. 5 on the Italian charts and currently sits at No. 8.
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