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The Very Best of Italian Rock: Famous Female Solo Singers (With Videos)

I've been writing about foreign travel and European rock music online for over 12 years.


Top 12 Female Italian Solo Artists

With a famous reputation for glamour and fashion and all things exotic, the country of Italy has also produced much beautiful music.

Here is a collection of famous female vocalists from Italy who would come under a, fairly broad, definition of rock music.

This article leans more to the softer edge of the genre, but there are still plenty of electric guitars and raw attitude amongst some fine tunes.

1. Elisa Toffoli

Elisa sings in both Italian and English and is influenced by many varieties of musical styles.

She also writes many of her own tunes with great success.

Of the Italian tracks check out 'Luce', 'Una Poesia Anche Per Te', 'Anche se non trovi le parole', 'Qualcosa Che Non C'é' and a great duet with Luciano Ligabue on 'Gli Ostacoli del Cuore'

Her best English language songs include 'Sleeping in your Hand', 'Swan', 'Broken' and the superb 'Rainbow'

2. Francesca Chiara

Francesca Chiara is the singer and songwriter with the Goth-Rock band the LoveCrave, which she formed with guitarist Tank Palamara.

But Francesco also had a successful solo career prior to the group forming in 2003.

This song 'Edera' shows Francesca at her best performing Heavy Rock with a heavy Gothic flavor and her very distinctive voice.

Other top songs are the electro-rock of 'Streghe', the power-ballad 'Ti Amo Che Strano' plus 'L'Onda' and 'Guarda in Sú'

3. Angela Baraldi

The talented Angela has also appeared as an actress as well as an accomplished singer.

After collaborations with many other singers, writers and bands she released her first solo project, the album 'Viva' in 1990.

Top tunes are the cool groove of 'Paradiso', the quirky 'Viva', and this exciting number 'Il Tasto Sbagliato'

Although still singing she has concentrated more on her acting career to date.

4. Irene Grandi

A very prolific artist with many album releases since her debut in 1994, Irene Grandi is a popular artist in Italy.

Also a songwriter she has collaborated with the likes of Eros Ramazzotti, Jovanotti, and Vasco Rossi to produce an eclectic mix of sounds.

Rock, jazz, disco and atmospheric ballads have all been produced by this gifted lady.

Among her best numbers are 'Sono Come Tu Mi Vuoi', 'Una Novula Bianca', 'Un Bagno in Mare', 'Prima de Partire Per un Lungo Viaggio' and this danceable track 'Alle Porte Del Sogno'

5. Gianna Nannini

Gianna Nannini is most famous for her 1986 song 'Bello e Impossibile' which gave her a huge hit record.

Gianna was actually more popular initially in other European countries until hitting it big in her homeland. That was in 1984, and she maintained continuing success across the continent.

Other songs to admire are 'Sei Nell'Anima', 'Grazie, 'Suicido D'Amore' 'Ogni Tanto' and 'Il Profumo' amongst her back catalogue.

Incidentally, she gave birth to a daughter at the advanced age of 54 years old.

6. Cristina Doná

Cristina's heroes growing up as a teenager were the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and the Beatles.

Among her fans is Robert Wyatt with whom she has collaborated.

Although singing mostly in Italian she released an English language album in 2004 to favorable reviews in the media in the UK and elsewhere.

Tunes to check out are 'Universo', 'Dove Sei Tu', 'Profumo' and 'Settembre'

7. Loredana Berté

Loredana has experimented widely throughout her musical career since 1974 assimilating rock, pop, funk and even reggae.

Check out her songs 'Mi Manchi', 'Il Mare d'Inverno', 'E La Luna Busso' 'Non Sono Una Signora' and 'Sei Bellissima'.

Loredana has constantly moved with the times and continued to produce fresh and modern music.

She was once married to the tennis superstar Bjorn Borg for a short time. She also came from a musical family and the late Mia Martini was Loredana's sister.

8. Giusy Ferreri

A runner-up in the first Italian series of the X-Factor in 2008 Giusy quickly followed that up with a best-selling album.

Her style has been likened to that of Amy Winehouse and Nina Simone and this song 'La Scala' displays her impassioned singing and emotional range.

Other leading numbers are 'Novembre', 'Ma il Cielo é Sempre Piú Blu', 'Il Mare Immenso' and 'Non Ti Scordar Mai Di Me' which stayed at No.1 in Italy for 15 weeks.

9. Anna Tatangelo

Back in 2002, 15-year-old Anna Tatangelo became the youngest winner of the 'Newcomer's Award at the famous Sanremo Festival.

Since then her pop-rock songs such as 'La Piú Bella' have been consistently popular.

Also worth a mention are the tender ballad 'Ragazza Di Periferia', 'Quando Due Si Lasciano', the languid reggae of 'Colpo di Fulmine' and a hard-hitting song called 'Bastardo' of all titles.

10. Arisa

Her real name is actually Rosalba Pippa but her stage name is an acronym of names of members of her family

A newcomer to the scene from 2009 she has released wonderfully catchy songs like 'Sincerita' accompanied by fun videos and has proved a real breath of fresh air.

Other songs like the equally vibrant 'Malamoreno' and 'Oggi', as well as the delightful ballad 'Pace', have ensured Arisa a flying start in the music business.

11. Dolcenera

A multi-talented person Dolcenera studied the clarinet, the piano and also mechanical engineering at university.

Melodic rock of the quality of songs like 'Un Dolce Incantesimo' display her singing talents.

She has even branched out into acting to add to her impressive list of achievements on her burgeoning CV.

Other top tunes are the effervescent 'Siamo Tutti La Fuori', the piano-driven 'Mai Piú Noi Due' and the power ballad 'Com'e Straordinario La Vita'.

12. Mia Martini

Hailing from an older generation than most of the singers here, Mia Martini was born in 1947.

Her original name was Domenica Berté and she was the sister of Loredana Berté.

Perhaps her best and most famous song is 'Piccolo Uomo' a fantastic Pop-Rock number from 1972 with a memorable anthemic chorus.

Check out other songs like the classically influenced 'Minuetto', 'Quante Volte', 'Solo Noi', 'Viva l'Amore' and also 'Almeno Tu Nell'Universo''

Tragically Mia died in 1995 following an overdose of painkillers.

Honorable Mentions

Well, that's a selection of female rockstars from Italy that I really enjoy listening to. But also worth a mention are Alice Visconti, Fiorella Mannoia, Loredana Errore and Noemi. And there will be more talented ladies of rock to come in the future I'm sure.

Questions & Answers

Question: Which Italian rock song has a refrain “allora Gloria”?

Answer: Sounds like Umberto Tozzi .


Shinkicker (author) from Scotland on April 13, 2012:

Cheers Nell. They are really beautiful and passionate singers in Italy

Nell Rose from England on April 13, 2012:

Hi, just found this and I loved it! I am always on the lookout for more rock singers, wherever they come from, and this was great! cheers nell

Shinkicker (author) from Scotland on October 23, 2011:

Thanks for commenting Angelo. I love Giusy too, what a voice.

and yeah Kris, I was spreading the net wide with Arisa and Anna Tatangelo LOL But rock has its softer side too. They've got guitars in there :-)

Angelo89GF on October 23, 2011:

The best: GIUSY FERRERI!!!!

Kris on October 23, 2011:

Arisa and Anna Tatangelo? Are they rock? I don't think so... :D

Shinkicker (author) from Scotland on April 11, 2011:

Hi Alternative Prime, Cogerson and cheaptrick

Thanks reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed these artists as much as I did, made my linguine aldente too Dean :-)


cheaptrick from the bridge of sighs on April 11, 2011:

Loved this SK!I was born in Italy and still speak it fluently.The lyrics are beautiful,made my linguine al dente lol


UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on April 11, 2011:

You have put together a fantastic list...voted up

Alternative Prime from > California on April 10, 2011:

Fantastic list of incredibly talented "Italian Artists".

Each performer has an incredible voice that equals her physical Beauty & Exuberence. Excellent choices offering a diverse range of audio splendor.