Jovanotti - Biography

Jovanotti is an Italian singer, songwriter, rapper, and author who is credited with introducing hip-hop, funk and elements of world music to mainstream Italian audiences. Born Lorenzo Cherubini in Rome, as a teenager he was inspired to become a rapper after hearing Sugar Hill Gang's seminal song "Rapper's Delight" and Beatie Boys' Licensed To Ill.


Jovanotti got his start as a DJ playing dance and hip-hop music at various night clubs and radio stations throughout Rome. After meeting radio personality and prodcuer Claudio Cecchetto, he moved to Milan and worked for Radio DeeJay, a prominent Italian radio station at the time. Jovanotti released his first single, "Walking," in 1987 and a full-length album, Jovanotti for President, the following year. Although the album received negative critical reviews, it spawned two number one hit singles, beginning Jovanotti's meteoric rise. His sophomore album, La Mia Moto, quickly followed, with more hits and more exposure in Italian media, including becoming the first Italian MTV VJ and hosting a TV show. On his fourth studio album, 1991's Una Tribù Che Balla, Jovanotti joined forces with bassist Saturnino Celani who became a long-running collaborator and songwriting partner for Jovanotti.


Jovanotti began including his first name in his album titles with the release of Lorenzo 1992, his fifth studio album and the first to spread his popularity beyond Italy and into Europe. It included "Seranata Rap," one of the year's most played singles in Italy and most played videos by MTV Latin America and MTV Europe. He released his next album, Lorenzo 1994, on his own imprint, Soleluna, which has since become a home for Jovonatti and his like-minded colleagues. He spent many years touring the world and his next album, Lorenzo 1997 - L'albero, first displayed the musical influences of his travels. He continued exploring world music on his next album, Lorenzo 1999: Capo Horn (Mercury), which featured "Per Te, " a song written for his daughter, and the huge hit "Un Raggio di Sole." As his career progressed, so did the political activism in his lyrics, such as with his controversial 2000 single, "Cancella il Debito" (Cancel the Debt).


His eleventh studio album, 2008's Safari (Universal), featured Ben Harper, Sly & Robbie, Sergio Mendes, and Michael Franti, and is one of his highest selling-albums, winning the prestigious Mogol songwriting award for its title track. The album remains highly regarded as it was voted Best Italian Album of the 2000s in a poll conducted by Rockol e Fnac in 2011. In 2010, Jovanotti released the single "Baciami Ancora" (Kiss Me Again) recorded for a Gabriele Muccino film by the same name. His twelfth and most recent studio album, 2011's Ora (Universal), was a foray into electronic music and featured a guest appearance by Amadou & Mariam. Ora debuted at number one on the Italian charts and remained there for three weeks.


In 2012, ATO Records released a collection of tracks aimed at US audiences, Italia 1988-2012. The album was compiled and remixed by Grammy award-winning producer Ian Brennan and included reworkings and new renditions of old songs, as well as four new songs. Jovanotti performed to a very enthusiastic crowd of Italian expats at Amoeba Hollywood on August 13, 2012.

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