Marina Rei

Italian smooth singer and talented percussionist Marina Rei (real name: Marina Restuccia) was born in Rome on June 5, 1969. Her father, Vincenzo "Enzo" Restuccia, was a drummer in Ennio Morricone's orchestra, while her mother, Anna Giordano, was a violist. Growing up in a very musical environment, by the age of 18 Marina started playing live in the Rome club scene, and in the meantime she debuted as a backing vocalist and dancer in some TV shows. Under the name of Jamie Dee, between 1991 and 1995 she released several singles and two dance-oriented albums -- Different Moods (1991) and Don't Be Shy (1994) -- that sold pretty well, especially in Japan. Nonetheless, in 1994 Marina decided to start singing in Italian, and adopted the name of Marina Rei. After signing with Virgin, in 1995 she released her first single of the second phase of her career, "Sola," soon followed by "Noi" and by the album Marina Rei, which revealed an artist strongly influenced by acid jazz and soul music. Re-released the following year with "Al di Là di Questi Anni" -- the song with which she took part in that year's edition of the Sanremo Music Festival -- the album ended up selling more than 100,000 copies. The following year Marina returned to Sanremo with "Dentro Me," included on her sophomore album, Donna, whose success surpassed its predecessor thanks to the massive airplay gained by the single "Primavera," an Italian rendition of the Real Thing's "You to Me Are Everything." Donna is also the title of an anthology released in the same year in Spain, including tracks from both her albums plus some unreleased songs. Animebelle followed in 1998, led by yet another popular single, "T'Innamorerò." In 1999 Marina returned to Sanremo with "Un Inverno da Baciare," included as a bonus track in all subsequent versions of Animebelle. The song, which reached the first position of the Italian singles chart, showed a new interest in electronic sounds and arrangements, which would show up again, blended with a strong rock feeling, in 2000's Inaspettatamente, which included the successful single "I Miei Complimenti." An artistic and personal relationship with musician and producer Daniele Sinigallia led to the making of L'Incantevole Abitudine, released in 2002 by BMG. Sinigallia would later produce 2005's Colpisci, which also included a vocal appearance by Marlene Kuntz's Cristiano Godano on the title track. Meanwhile, in 2004 Marina wrote the song "And I Close My Eyes..." for the soundtrack of Alessandro Colizzi's movie Fino a Farti Male. Then in 2007, after the release of her first live album, Al di Là di Questi Anni, she started a tour that saw her sharing the stage with Paola Turci and Max Gazzè. ~ Aurelio Pasini

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