Domenico Modugno (9 January 1928 in Polignano a Mare – 6 August 1994 in Lampedusa) was one of the most important Italian singers of the 20th century.
From a young age he wanted to become an actor. After serving his military service, he attended an acting school and later appeared in several films. After appearing in the film Il Mantello Rosso, he became a singer.
Modugno became popular in the United States and around the world, especially in the 1950s. His song "Nel blu dipinto di blu" which participated in the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest was a huge success around the world and in The United States even received two Emmy Awards and became known as Volare. This song became a landmark of Italian music at the time, being known all over the world. That same year, Modugno won three Grammy Awards, with song of the year, best male performance and best album. With all these victories, Domenico became the world protagonist of theatrical shows, films and television programs. This song became a hit again in the late 1980s, thanks to the band Gipsy Kings.
Between 1959 and 1960 he was the first voice actor for the children's character Topo Gigio.
In 1960 he was accused of plagiarizing an opera composer, but was cleared of that charge.
Modugno won the San Remo Festival four times and participated twice in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1959 and 1966.
In addition to being a singer and actor, he was also a producer and filmmaker. A stroke caused him to be partially paralyzed, forcing him to interrupt his artistic career in 1984. Recovered, he even occupied a seat in the Italian Parliament, for the Radical Party, between 1987 and 1990.
He returned to the stage in 1992 and the following year he released "Delfini", the last single of his career. He died on August 6, 1994, after a heart attack.
Modugno at the movies