Laura Pausini (Italian pronunciation: [pau.ˈziː.ni]), omri, (born 16 May 1974, Solarolo, Ravenna)[A] is an Italian singer-songwriter and record producer signed to Warner Music Group since 1993. Dubbed the "Queen of Italian pop" by entertainment news outlets, Pausini is famed for her soulful voice and romantic ballads. She is also known for multilingual music productions that span five languages—her native Italian, Spanish, English, Portuguese and French.
Pausini debuted at the 43rd Annual Sanremo Music Festival in 1993. Her first place victory in the competition's New Talent division helped launch her music career in Europe. She later tapped the hispanophone and lusophone markets in Ibero-America with crossover recordings. Since 1996, she has concurrently released Spanish–language companion editions with her vernacular studio albums—"a practice that [has] come to define her career and compound her success". In 2001, she recapped eight years of success with a greatest hits album, issued in the two customary editions—Italian and Spanish. Following a failed English-language crossover attempt in 2002, Pausini returned with the galvanizing studio album Escucha (2004). The recording garnered a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album in 2006.
As of March 2009, Pausini maintains worldwide record sales in excess of 45 million. In 2004, with Pausini's sales tally at only 25 million, Allmusic's Jason Birchmeier considered this "an impressive feat for someone who'd never really broken into the lucrative English–language market".
Laura is the eldest of two daughters born to Fabrizio Pausini and Gianna Ballardini. Alluding to Pausini's autobiographical track "Viaggio con te" (2000), Valentina Khalife of Miami New Times affirms, "Playful strings suggest that the singer grew up happily with the help of her father's love". She started to sing in local piano bars with her father Fabrizio, a musician and singer, when she was only eight years old. At the age of thirteen, Laura had her first recording experience with the album I sogni di Laura (Laura's Dreams), a semi-professional release produced by her father in 1987. In 1993 her career was launched when she won the prestigious Italian Sanremo Music Festival with one of her best known songs, "La solitudine".
As a natural consequence, she signed a contract with Warner Music Italy to release her first professional album, Laura Pausini (1993), which was a big success in Italy, France, as well as in The Netherlands. Her second album, Laura, was released in 1994 and was such a big hit that her recording company offered her a deal to record in Spanish.
At the end of 1994, Pausini released her first Spanish album, Laura Pausini, a compilation of ten adapted versions of hits from her first two Italian albums. The album was so successful that it made her a household name in the Spanish-speaking world. Her song "Se fue" was one of the most played songs of 1995 according to the Hot Latin Tracks chart of Billboard.
Following this success, Pausini simultaneously released Spanish editions of her native Italian language albums: Le cose che vivi (1996), La mia risposta (1998) and Tra te e il mare (2000), were released in Spain and Latin America as Las cosas que vives, Mi respuesta and Entre tú y mil mares, respectively. She also recorded three bonus tracks in Portuguese for a special edition of her album Le cose che vivi in 1996.
The first English language recording made by Pausini was of her Italian language hit "La solitudine" rendered by lyricist Tim Rice as "The Loneliness" for a UK single release of 19 June 1995 which was overlooked. In 1999 she contributed the Richard Marx composition "One More Time" to the Message in a Bottle soundtrack; the track was produced by David Foster who was featured on piano. Also in 1999, famed Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti invited Pausini to his annual "Pavarotti and Friends" concert, and the two of them sang the Italian version of the aria Dein ist mein ganzes Herz, titled Tu che m'hai preso il cuor, from Franz Lehár's operetta Das Land des Lächelns. In 2000, she recorded the theme "The Extra Mile" for the soundtrack of the movie Pokémon 2000: The Power of One.
Pausini's first English album, From the Inside, was released by Atlantic Records on 5 November 2002; producers included Patrick Leonard and John Shanks. The first single "Surrender" became a U.S. disco hit reaching #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in Billboard but - despite extensive promotion by Pausini - the track did not accrue support from U.S. radio. "Surrender" did become a Top Ten hit in Canada - radio there supporting the track due to its having a Cancon qualifying songwriting credit - and the track returned Pausini to the charts in several European nations reaching #7 in Italy but for the most part occasioning a dip in her popularity. The album's second single: "If That's Love" reached #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the spring of 2003; Pausini at the time was on a promotional junket to the UK which included a TOTP performance of "Surrender", and - disappointed at her English language debut being ignored in the U.S. outside the club scene - she abandoned promotion for From the Inside. The album's global sales are estimated at 800,000 units with the U.S. tally a disappointing 100,000.
2001 saw the release of Pausini's first hits compilation both in Italian and Spanish: The Best of Laura Pausini: E ritorno da te and Lo mejor de Laura Pausini: Volveré junto a ti. In 2003 Luciano Pavarotti again invited her to the "Pavarotti and Friends" concert and once more they sang Tu che m'hai preso il cuor. In 2004 she released Resta in ascolto. The Spanish version of this album, Escucha, awarded Pausini a Latin Grammy in 2005 and a Grammy in 2006. This made her the first Italian female to receive such honors. The song "Víveme" was featured as the theme music to La Madrastra, a popular Mexican telenovela, in which she had a memorable cameo appearance.
About her album Io canto (Spanish Yo canto) she has said: "I chose the music I listen to, in sad moments as well as in other, more special ones, those tunes that have taught me how to feel, how to love music beyond genres and styles." On the 2nd of June 2007, Laura Pausini was the first female artist to play at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy in front of a crowd of 70,000 spectators. Later that year the concert was released on CD and DVD and became very successful in Italy and Spain.
On 8 November 2007, Laura won a Latin Grammy Award for the best female album with 'Yo Canto', the Spanish version of the album 'Io Canto'. Laura dedicated the award to the memory of Italian legend Luciano Pavarotti. Later on during the show she sang songs from her album 'Yo Canto' alongside Italian singer Andrea Bocelli.
In 2008 Laura spent most of her time in the studio, recording another new album. Her tenth studio album called Primavera in anticipo was first released in its Spanish language edition Primavera Anticipada on November 11, 2008 in the hispanophone market, then was released in the Italian language edition in Italy on November 14, 2008. The international version of the album was released on November 18 in Spain, Portugal, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, Turkey, Malta and other European countries. On December 1, 2008, the album was released in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. In 2009, Laura Pausini began a new World tour, starting in Italy and across Europe, then to North America and South America.