Gloria is one of the most widely recognized songs from the ‘80s and one of the main reasons people buy Umberto Tozzi tickets.
Umberto Tozzi is the beloved Italian singer who brought the song Gloria to the world along with many others. Tozzi performed Gloria in both English and Italian. In 2013, Martin Scorsese featured a re-edited version of Gloria in its original Italian in his blockbuster film, The Wolf of Wall Street. The film also went on to receive a 2014 Academy Awards nomination.
A Life of Music
Tozzi’s first successful venture into songwriting was with co-writer Damiano Dattoli in 1974. The musicians wrote Un Corpo, Un Anima, (One Body, One Soul). Dori Ghezzi performed the piece featured on Canzonissima, a popular program that ran from 1956 to 1974 and showcased Italian music.
Tozzi was born on March 4th, 1953. By 16 years old, he had joined his first band, “Off Sound,” and had begun performing all around Turin in small local venues. Around this time, he also formed a 13 piece band with Adriano Pappalardo and began to tour Italy on a larger scale.
He released his first album in 1976, Donna Amante mia, (My Loving Woman), featuring Lo Camminero, (I Will Walk) sung by Fausto Leali. In 1977, Tozzi’s Ti Amo held the number one spot on the Italian music charts for 7 months and received international recognition. The song also gained fans throughout Australia and the Americas in bars and nightclubs.
The next year, Tozzi released Tu which went on to achieve great success throughout Italy and on an Australian tour.
Memorable Tozzi Music
In 1979 Tozzi recorded Gloria, which stayed popular throughout Italy, the UK and all over the world throughout 1979 and 1980. English singer Elkie Brooks recorded the song in 1980 and Laura Branigan covered the song in 1982. It was Branigan’s version that caused the song to grow so fast in popularity throughout the United States. Branigan worked with members of Tozzi’s team to produce her version, adding what she calls, “An American kick,” to the sound. Gloria stayed on the top of the US pop music charts for 36 weeks and reached both gold and platinum status throughout several countries.
Tozzi recorded music into the early 1980s with his single Stella Star and his albums, Tozzi and Soon After. He recorded Tozzi at a concert with an American band and Soon After was his first live recording and release.
Tozzi took a hiatus and eventually re- emerged Into the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when he released the live album The Royal Albert Hall, the compilation album My Songs and songs like Il Grido, (The Outcry) and Gli altri siamo noi, (Others are us).
In 1987, Tozzie won first and third place at the Sanremo Music Festival with Si Puo Dare Di Piu, (More Can be Given) in first place and Gente Di Mare, (People of the Sea) in third. Gente Di Mare also won the Gold Record Award in Australia. Throughout his career, Tozzi sold over 70 million records throughout the world.