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Dalida

In the course of a career lasting just over 30 years, Dalida earned 45 gold record awards and a pair of platinum records for her sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Japan. A superstar in France and much of the rest of Europe, Dalida enjoyed hit records in three different decades, despite an increasingly troubled personal life after the early '60s.

She was born Yolande Gigliotti, the daughter of Italian parents living in Cairo. The family lived a comfortably middle-class life until the outbreak of the Second World War; Egypt came into the war on the side of the Allies and her father, because of his Italian nationality, spent four years in an internment camp. Yolande Gigliotti attended a religious school and studied stenography, intending to lead a nondescript life as an office worker -- by the time she was 17, however, she had blossomed into a beautiful young woman, and began entering talent and beauty competitions. In 1954, the same year that she won the title of Miss Egypt, she made her first screen appearance in an Egyptian production entitled Sigarah Wa Kas, directed by Niazi Mostafa. She began using the name "Dalila," owing to her resemblance to Hedy Lamarr in the costume epic Samson and Delilah, and this was later in France altered to Dalida.

She left Egypt in 1955 to pursue a screen career in Paris. Dalida was cast in the film Le Masque de Toutankhamen, directed by Marco de Gastyne, but much more important to her career was a short singing stint that she took on in Paris. She accepted an offer to sing in the intermission between acts at a club, La Villa d'Este, where she was spotted by Bruno Coquatrix, a producer at the Olympia Theater, the largest performing venue in the city, where figures such as Charles Aznavour and Edith Piaf had seen some of their greatest triumphs, and also by radio producer Lucien Morisse. The two took her under their wing, Coquatrix introducing her to the French public, while Morisse later married her. Record producer Eddie Barclay, a former jazz pianist, signed Dalida to a contract with his own Barclay label, and her second single, "Bambino" -- which was also later a hit for the Springfields -- became a huge hit in 1956. The following year, she was awarded a gold record for a million sales of the single in Europe. Her later hits included "Gondolier" (1957), "Come Prima 'Tu Me Donnes'" (1958), "Les Gitans" (1958), "Ciao Ciao Bambina" (1959), "Les Enfants du Piree" (1960), and "La Danse de Zorba" (1965), the latter a vocal version of the dance from the movie Zorba the Greek. From 1960 onward, her brother, billed simply as Orlando, oversaw her recordings as producer, and could take some credit for securing her continued success in the 1960s and beyond.

With the advent of the rock & roll era in the early '60s, Dalida adapted successfully to the new music, her recordings making use of a band with more of a beat, as she took on new material, including French versions of songs by the Drifters ("Garde-moi La Derniere Danse" etc.), the Kingston Trio ("Que Sont Devenues Les Fleurs" etc.), and others. By 1964, she'd sold an extraordinary 30 million records worldwide, though all of those sales were in the non-English speaking world, from the Middle East to Germany. Like her contemporary Petula Clark, whose career also made the jump from the 1950s to the 1960s, Dalida went through several transitions in image -- from dark hair and makeup and elegant gowns in the mid-'50s, looking like an Italian Alma Cogan, into a striking blonde in revealing outfits and shorter skirts in the 1960s and beyond, so much so that it was difficult to believe that she was the same performer. She maintained a screen career as well, appearing in over a dozen movies in France and Italy from 1955 through the end of the 1960s, ranging from spy thrillers like Rapt Aux Deuxieme Bureau (1958) to frothy sex comedies such as Menage Italian Style (1965).

Beginning in 1956, Dalida was an object of fixation for the paparazzi, who could hardly shoot an unattractive picture of the leggy, well-endowed singer/actress. Between her twin singing and movie careers, she was linked professionally, personally, and romantically in the press to a succession of men (including actor Alain Delon and Eddie Barclay) before she married Lucien Morisse, but that marriage didn't last far into the 1960s. A heavy performing schedule, coupled with an unsettled romantic life, took their toll. The singer's life took a sudden dark turn, closer to that of Edith Piaf than to Petula Clark, when her then-current lover Luigi Tenco, a singer, killed himself at the 1967 San Remo Festival after failing to qualify for a spot on the program. Dalida, who found the body, made the first of several suicide attempts soon after. Following her recovery, she restarted her career in a slightly different direction, recording more serious and thoughtful songs -- among the more notable of these was "Salwa wa Sala," which translates as "Safe and Sound," which was issued to celebrate the release of Egyptian POW's from the 1973 Yom Kippur War by the state of Israel.

Although no less a figure than Norman Granz, of Verve Records fame, was interested in bringing Dalida to the United States in 1958, it took her 21 years to make her American debut. On the eve of that debut, at Carnegie Hall in New York, writer Anthony Haden-Guest described her fandom, especially in France, as cult-like in its dedication, but non-existent in the United States, where she never charted a record. Since the 1970s, when she'd adapted to the disco boom (and released the pioneering French disco hit "J'attendrai"), she'd also acquired a significant gay audience in France, which was drawn to her outsized press image and also the angst surrounding her personal life.

Her ex-husband Lucien Morisse took his own life sometime after her attempt at suicide in the wake of Tenco's death, and Haden-Guest compared her to Judy Garland, though musically she was closer to Astrud Gilberto. Dalida's later involvement marriage to a man identified as the Count of St. Germain, who turned out not to be a count and also to prefer male companionship, only added to the picture of a personal life in turmoil and seemed to make her that much more alluring to her admirers. In the midst of this, she won the Oscar Mondial du Disque (World Oscar of Recording), a French award, to be sure, for her "Gigi L'Amoroso," beating out competitors that included Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night," and recorded a peace song, "Salma ya Salama," in Arabic, on the occasion of Egyptian president Sadat's peace summit with Israel. Dalida's career in the 1980s had slowed somewhat as she entered her fifties, looking at least a decade younger but no longer doing 200 engagements a year as she had in her prime.

In 1986, she returned to her native Egypt to make a film, The Sixth Day, with director Youssef Chahine, an old friend from her early career, in which she gave what the critics felt was a superb acting performance. She continued to make Paris her home, where she remained a huge concert draw during her final decade. On May 3, 1987, Dalida was found dead of an overdose of barbiturates, an apparent suicide at the age of 54. A significant cult still surrounded her in Europe more than a decade after her death -- many millions more records have sold, there are several active websites and pages, and MCA-Universal, as the owners of Polygram Records (which controlled distribution on the Barclay label), has issued a three-CD box, La Legende, in France covering her life and career. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: D'ici Et D'ailleurs: Le Meilleur De Dalida À Travers Le Monde

Disc 1

1. Helwa Ya Baladi

2. Akhsan Nass

4. Lebnane

6. Gamil El Soura

7. Flamenco

12. Io T'Amero

10012. Io T'Amero

Disc 2

14. Tenia Dieciocho Anos

15. Tu Nombre

16. Volveras

17. Morir Cantando

18. El Restaurante Italiano

19. El Cordobes

20. Si El Amor Se Acaba Me Voy

21. Por No Vivir A Solas

22. Paroles Paroles

23. Gigi El Amoroso

24. Soleil (Mi Sol)

25. Aquella Rosa (Spanish Harlem)

26. Los Ninos Del Piero

28. Dejame Bailar

29. Dos

30. El Silencio

31. Banos De Luna (Tintarella Di Luna)

32. Besame Mucho

10022. Paroles Paroles

10032. Besame Mucho

Disc 3

35. Little Words

36. The Lambeth Walk

37. Alabama Song

38. He Must Have Been Eighteen

40. You

41. Let Me Dance Tonight (Monday Tuesday)

42. Born To Sing

43. Italian Restaurant

44. Money Money

45. Willingly

46. The Great Gigi L'Amoroso

48. Never On Sunday (Les Enfants Du Pirée)

49. For The First Time

50. Good Bye My Love

52. Dance My Troubles Away (Zorba's Dance)

53. The Gypsies

54. Say No More It's Goodbye

55. Tintarella Di Luna

56. If Only I Could Live My Life Again

Disc 4

57. Aranjuez La Tua Voce

58. L'Ultimo Valzer

59. Bang Bang

60. Quelli Erano Giorni

62. Ho Lady Mary

63. Cominciamo Ad Amarci

64. Stivaletti Rossi

65. Ascoltami

66. La Mia Vita E' Una Giostra

68. Il Silenzio

69. 24 Mila Baci

70. Sola E' Piu' Che Mai

73. Arlecchino Gitano

74. Uno A Te A Me

76. Pensiamoci Ogni Sera

77. Dan Dan Dan

78. Gli Zingari

Disc 5

79. Diciotto Anni

80. Non E Piu Mia La Canzone

81. Vedrai Vedrai

82. La Colpa E'Tua

83. Tornerai

84. Il Mio Male Sei

85. Ciao Come Stai

86. Mediterraneo

87. Non Andare Via

88. Vai Tu Sei Libero

89. Uomo Di Sabbia

90. Loro

91. Col Tempo

92. Danza

93. Un Po' D'Amore

94. Il Sole Muore

95. La Danza Di Zorba

96. Le Promesse D'Amore

97. L'Aquilone

Disc 6

99. Am Tag Als Der Regen Kam

100. Tschau Tschau Bambina

101. Wenn Die Soldaten

102. Du Bist Gegangen

103. Pépé

105. Rosen Im Dezember

106. Das Mädchen Von Piräus

108. Mélodie Poesie

109. Mein Blauer Luftballon

110. An Jenem Tag

111. Melodie Aus Alter Zeit

112. Aïe Mon Coeur

114. Der Joe Hat Mir Das Herz Gestohlen

115. Was Wird Mein Charly Tun

116. Komm Senorita Komm

118. Hello Boy

119. Ich Fand Ein Herz In Portofino

120. Abschiedsmelodie

121. Glaub An Mich

122. Ich Werde Warten

123. Ich War Ein Narr

Disc 7

124. Er War Gerarde 18 Jahr

125. Nein, Zärtlich Bist Du Nicht

126. Captain Sky

127. Das Lied Vom Clown

129. Un Nicht Allein Zu Sein

130. Mein Lieber Herr

131. Spiel Balalaika

132. Mon Chérie

133. Gigi Der Geliebte

134. Buona Sera Fantasia

135. Komm Zurück

137. Der Charme Der Kleinen Worte

138. Die Schlüssel Der Liebe

140. Lieber Kleiner Mann

141. Nie

142. Regenzeit-Tränenleid

143. Am Tag Als Der Regen Kam

Disc 8

145. Histoire D'un Amour

146. Bambino

147. Ciao Ciao Bambina

148. Gondolier

149. Les Gitans

150. Come Prima

152. Love In Portofino

153. Les Enfants Du Pirée

154. La Danse De Zorba

155. Des Millions De Larmes

156. Garde-Moi La Dernière Danse

157. Le Jour Le Plus Long

158. Chaque Instant De Chaque Jour

159. Que Sont Devenues Les Fleurs

160. Nuits D'Espagne

161. Le Temps Des Fleurs

162. Eux

163. Bonsoir Mon Amour

164. Itsi Bitsi Petit Bikini

Disc 9

166. Les Grilles De Ma Maison

168. Parle Plus Bas

169. Comme Disait Mistinguett

170. Le Lambeth Walk

171. Fini La Comédie

172. Il Pleut Sur Bruxelles

174. La Mamma

175. Il Faut Danser Reggae

177. Laissez-Moi Danser (Monday Tuesday)

178. J'attendrai

180. Rio Do Brasil

181. Mourir Sur Scène

183. Darla Dirladada

Disc 10

189. Hene Ma Tov

190. Hava Naguila

192. Speel Niet Me M'N Hart "Ne Joue Pas"

x

Track List: O Sole Mio

1. O Sole Mio

2. Bambino

x

Track List: La Plus Belle Du Monde

1. La Plus Belle Du Monde

2. Bambino

3. Le Ranch De Maria

4. Tu N'as Pas Trés Bon Caractére

5. Fado

6. Buenas Noches Mi Amor

7. Miguel

8. Violetera

9. Lazzarella

10. Ay! Mourir Pour Toi

11. Madona

12. Flamenco Bleu

13. Torrent

14. Guitare Flamenco

15. Mon Coeur Va

16. Eh Ben

17. Por Favor

18. Le Petit Chemin De Pierre

19. Quand On N'a Que L'amour

20. Scusami

x

Track List: La Canzone Di Orfeo

1. Gli Zingari (Les Gitanes)

2. Milord

3. Piove...! (Ciao, Ciao Bambina)

4. Come Prima

5. T'amerò Dolcemente (Makin' Love)

6. Pezzettini Di Bikini

7. Uno A Te Uno A Me (Les Enfantes Du Pirée)

8. La Pioggia Cadrà (Le Jour Où La Pluie Viendra)

9. L'arlecchino Gitano

10. Guaglione (Bambino)

11. La Canzone Di Orfeo (Samba De Orfeu)

12. L'ultimo Ballo È Per Me

x

Track List: Dalida Sings In Arabic (Remastered)

1. Aghany Aghany

2. Ahssan Nass

3. Gamil El Soura

5. Helwa Ya Baladi

6. Lebnan

8. Salma Ya Salama

x

Track List: Les Gitans

1. Les Gitans

2. Gondolier

3. La Montagne

4. Oh! La La

7. Tesoro Mio

8. Calipso Italiano

9. Histoire D´un Amour

11. J'écoute Chanter La Brise

12. Pardon

13. Come Prima

14. Dieu Seul

15. Marie Marie

16. Les Yeux De Mon Amour

17. Dans Le Bleu Du Ciel Bleu

18. Timide Sérénade

19. Inconnu Mon Amour

20. L'amour Chante

21. Mélodie Perdue

22. Love In Portofino

23. Rendez-Vous Au Lavandou

24. Aïe Mon Coeur

25. Adieu Monsieur Mon Amour

26. Maintenant

27. Héléna

28. Tu M'étais Destinée

30. Si Je Pouvais Revivre Un Jour Ma Vie

31. Guitare Et Tambourin

32. Amstramgram

33. Hava Naguila

34. Des Millions De Larmes

35. Tout L'amour

36. Marina

37. Ne Joue Pas

38. Ciao Ciao Bambina

39. Ce Serait Dommage

40. La Fille Aux Pieds Nus

41. Marchand De Fruits

42. La Chanson D'Orphée

44. Mes Fréres

45. C'est Ça L'amore

46. Adonis

47. J´ai Rêvé

48. Luna Caprese

49. Mélodie Pour Un Amour

50. Mon Amour Oublié

51. Elle Lui Et L'autre

x

Track List: Chansons Premieres

1. Am Tag, Als Der Regen Kam (The Day The Rains Came)

2. Amstramgram

3. Ce Serait Dommage (Impatient Lover)

4. Ciao Ciao Bambina (Piove)

5. Des Millions De Larmes

6. Du Moment Qu'on S'Aime (Piccolissima Serenata)

7. Guitare Et Tambourin (Holiday In Naples)

8. Hava Naguila (Dansons Mon Amour)

9. J'ai Reve (Dream Lover)

10. La Chanson D'Orphée

11. Love In Portofino (A San Cristina)

12. Si Je Pouvais Revivre Un Jour Ma Vie

13. Tout L'Amour (Passion Flower)

14. Tu M'Etais Destinee (You Are My Destiny)

x

Track List: Glamorous

1. Little Words (Les Petits Mots)

2. The Lambeth Walk

3. Alabama Song

4. He Must Have Been Eighteen (Il Venait D'Avoir 18 Ans)

5. Kalimba De Luna

6. You (Eux)

7. Let Me Dance Tonight (Monday Tuesday)

8. Born To Sing (Mourir Sur Scene)

9. Italian Resturant (Le Resturant Italien)

10. Money, Money

11. Willingly (Melodie Perdue)

12. The Great Gigi L'Amoroso

13. Orfeo

14. Never On Sunday (Les Enfants Du Piree)

15. For The First Time

16. Goodbye My Love

17. Milord

18. Dance My Troubles Away (Zorba's Dance)

19. The Gypsies

20. Say No More It's Goodbye (Quand Tu Dors Pres De Moi)

21. Tinarella Di Luna

22. If Only I Could Live My Life Again (Si Je Pouvais Revivre Un Jour Ma Vie)

x

Track List: Le Reve Oriental

1. Quand S'arretent Les Violons

2. Io T'amero (Tres Palabras)

3. Femme Est La Nuit

4. Flamenco "Oriental"

5. La Feria

6. Salma Ya Salama (Sueno Flamenco)

7. Lady D'arbanville

8. Ils Ont Change Ma Chanson

9. Aghani Aghani (Gitano Gitano)

10. T'es Fier De Toi

11. Akhsan Nass

x

Track List: Garde-Moi La Dernièer Valse

1. Garde-Moi La Dernière Danse

2. Dix Mille Bulles Bleues

3. Parle-Moi D'amour, Mon Amour

4. Je Me Sens Vivre

5. Itsi, Bitsi, Petit Bikini

6. Pepe

7. La Joie D'aimer

8. Vingt Quatre Mille Baisers

9. O Sole Mio

10. Chauds Les Marrons

x

Track List: Anthology Vol. 2

1. Gondolier

2. J'ecoute Chanter La Brise

3. Calypso Italiano

4. Pardon

5. Histoire D'un Amour

6. Le Jour Ou La Pluie Viendra

7. Tresor Mio

8. Dans Le Bleu Du Ciel Bleu

9. Les Yeux De Mon Amour

10. L'amour Chante

11. Du Moment Qu'on S'aime

12. Adieu Monsieur, Mon Amour

13. Dieu Seul

14. Les Gitans

15. Tu M'etais Destine

16. Rendez-Vous Au Lavandou

17. Timide Serenade

18. Aie Mon Coeur

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Dalida preciosa cantante griega para el mundo
Report as inappropriate
emgusa
I do too
Report as inappropriate
adham1
I love Dalida so much ..... Mon amour

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