Claudio Villa was an Italian singer. He started his career in small restaurants and theaters and became known via radio shows in the 1940s. In his career, Villa recorded around 3,200 songs and sold around 42 million records. His greatest successes were “Luna Rossa”, “Serenata Celeste”, “Binario”, “Il Torrente and Granada”. He also played in numerous films. He took part in the festival of Sanremo for no less than 13 times, winning the contest in 1955, 1957, 1962 and 1967. In the sixties the tide started to turn a little. Villa, however, did not change his style and therefore sometimes got words with other singers and the organizers of the San Remo Festival. He also participated in the Eurovision Song Contest twice: in 1962 with “Addio, Addio” and in 1967 with “Non andare più lontano”. Until 1966 the winning song of the festival of Sanremo automatically was the Italian entry. Villa won in 1957 but until the 1970s all songs were sung by two performers and in 1957 preference was given to Nunzio Gallo, while Villa was preferred in 1962 in stead of Domenico Modugno. In 1967, Villa also wanted to sing his Sanremo song but he had to make another choice because of the rules: his Sanremo song “Non pensare a me” was released on single too early for Eurovision.
He also won Canzonissima twice, in 1964 with “O sole mio” and in 1966 with “Granada”.
Claudio Villa passed away on 7 february 1987. This was announced during the festival of Sanremo in 1987. The result was an ovational applause out of respect for the great singer.