Dalida Biography

Yolanda Christina Gigliotti, 17 January 1933, Cairo, Egypt, d. 3 May 1987, Paris, France. On winning a Miss Egypt beauty contest, Gigiotti, who was born to Italian parents, moved to Paris, France where she spent several fruitless months seeking work as a film actress. Driven to sing as an intermission act in La Villa D’Este club, she impressed record industry moguls Bruno Coquatrix and Lucien Morisse (whom she would later marry). With the nom de théâtre Dalida, her second single, ‘Bambino’ (1961) - a UK hit for the Springfields - precipitated a run of French language smashes in a sultry style not unlike Astrud Gilberto. Among these were vocal versions of the movie title theme of Zorba The Greek and Nini Rosso’s 1965 instrumental, ‘Il Silenzio’. By then, Dalida had enjoyed around 30 chart-toppers throughout Europe but a punishing schedule of 200 engagements a year was taking its toll as a flowchart of papparazzi titbits splashed vivid and scandalous hues on her personal life. Divorced from Morisse, her liaison with singing songwriter Luigi Tenco ended with his suicide during a San Remo Song Festival in 1967. A few weeks later Dalida’s attempted overdose of barbiturates was thwarted. After her convalescence she continued a flourishing singing and acting career. However, in 1987 Dalida successfully took her own life.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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