Domenico Modugno was an Italian singer, songwriter, actor, guitarist, and later in life, a member of the Italian Parliament. He is considered the first Italian cantautore. While still studying, he had a role in a cinematographic version of Filumena Marturano as well as some other films. In 1957, his song “Lazzarella”, sung by Aurelio Fierro, came second in the Festival della Canzone Napoletana, bringing him his first taste of popularity. Also in 1958, he discovered the Italian comedy duo of Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia, became their manager and got them into a long running film career. The turning point of his career came in that year, when he also participated in the Sanremo Music Festival, presenting the song “Nel blu dipinto di blu.”. The song won the contest and became an enormous success worldwide. It received two Grammy Awards with sales above 22 million copies, and represented Italy in the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest. Domenico also participated in the Contest in 1959, and 1966. In 1966 he was during the rehearsels that much dissatisfied about the orchestra, that he decided to replace the orchestra for 3 musicians of his choice.
Modugno was an actor in 44 movies and was a film producer of two.
In the 1970’s, Modugno focused on more classic music genres and profiles, as a singer and as a musician, adapting poetry, acting on television and in lead singing roles of modern operas. In 1984, Modugno suffered a severe stroke and remained partially paralyzed; this forced him to abandon his artistic career. From 1986, he worked for the rights of disabled people, and in June 1987, he was elected congressman for Turin in Italian Parliament. Modugno returned in to the music scene in 1992–1993. His last song was Delfini in 1993 with his son.
On 6 August 1994, Modugno died at the age of 66, from a heart attack.