Monday, July 18, 2011

Raffaella Carra

Raffaella Carrà (born 18 June 1943, Bologna, Italy), in Italy often simply known as la Carrà and in some Latin American countries sometimes simply as Raffaella, is an Italian singer, dancer, television presenter, and actress. She is a popular figure in Italy, Spain, Malta, Greece and Latin America and Russia, both as a result of her many well known taped presentations and records, and because of her many popular TV shows.

Early life

She was born Raffaella Roberta Pelloni, in Bologna. In her native town she had dance lessons.


Singing and dancing

Since 1961, Carrà has sung and danced on the variety shows of Italian television. In particular, since the early 1970s, they have featured elaborate choreography, mesmerizing elaborate themes, and her uninhibited style. In accordance with local tradition, she has been the first television figure who has shown her belly button before the cameras. This was met with heavy criticism from the Vatican.
Carrà had a hit song with the sensual "Tuca Tuca" (1970), written for her singing and dancing television presentations by her long-time collaborator and former boyfriend, Gianni Boncompagni. Similarly, in 1971 Carrà achieved another hit with "Chissà se Va".
Her greatest international hit single was "Tanti Auguri" ("Best Wishes"), which has become a popular song amongst the gay community. The song is also known under its Spanish title "Para hacer bien el amor hay que venir al sur" (which refers to Southern Europe, since the hit was recorded and taped in Spain). The Estonian version of the song "Jätke võtmed väljapoole" was performed by Anne Veski. "A far l'amore comincia tu" ("To make love, your move first") was another success for her internationally, known in Spanish as "En el amor todo es empezar", in German as "Liebelei", in French as "Puisque tu l'aimes dis le lui", and in English as "Do It, Do It Again". It was her only entry to the UK Singles Chart, where she remains a one-hit wonder. In 1977, she recorded another hit single, "Fiesta" ('The Party' in English) originally in Spanish, but then recorded it in French and Italian after the song hit the charts.
In 1985, Carra's Starlight Express video was released featuring characters, costumes and sets from the show. In 2008, "Do It, Do It Again" was featured briefly in the Midnight episode of the fourth series of Doctor Who. "A far l'amore comincia tu" has also been covered in Turkish by a Turkish popstar called Ajda Pekkan as "Sakın Ha" in 1977.
Most recently, Carrà has gained new attention for her appearance as the female vocal soloist in the proto hip-hop gibberish song Prisencolinensinainciusol (1973) by Adriano Celentano. A remixed video of her dancing and singing in the song went viral on the internet in 2008.
Recently Rafalle Carrà worked with Bob Sinclar with the new single Far l'Amore which was released on youtube 17th march 2011.

Television hostess

As a television hostess, Carrà has done significant work since the late 1970s, mainly in the Italian (RAI) and Spanish (TVE) national TV networks. One of her most celebrated series has been the Pronto Raffaella? gameshow (Italy, 1983–1985), in which she answered the phone calls of her contestants. The show's format was copied in many Latin-American Countries and Spain,in South America (in Argentina by Susana Giménez, in Peru by Gisela Valcárcel and in Brazil by Christina Rocha), with great success. Carrà hosted one such adaptation, ¡Hola Raffaella! (1992–1994) for Spanish television.
From 2008, returning by popular demand, Carrà hosts a variety show on Italy's National and International RAI network, "Carramba Che Fortuna". With the show's unique formula, families all over the world are reunited on live television. Carrà creates magic by surprising unsuspecting guests, detailing their life history with such intensity and emotion which climaxes in a once in a lifetime reunion with the overseas visitor.


Carrà debuted in cinema at age nine, in Tormento del passato (1952). She did five other movies until 1960 when she graduated from the national film school of Italy. Also in that year, she appeared in Long Night in 1943 (1960). In 1965, she moved to the United States signing with 20th Century Fox. As Carrà, she starred in the motion picture Von Ryan's Express (1965) with Frank Sinatra, Edward Mulhare, and Trevor Howard. In 1966, she guest starred in an episode of the American television series I Spy (Sophia, as the title character). Feeling homesick, she decided to return to Italy. Le Saint prend l'affût (1966).
During the 1960s, Carrà starred in about twenty Italian films and a few television shows. However, subsequently her actress career has been scarce with no more than five works mainly for television.

Spanish-language market

After her boom in the Italian market of the early 1970s, Carrà moved to Spain, doing television and releasing records in the Spanish language. This led her to move to South America, where her records had been heard for some years. In 1979 she established her headquarters in Buenos Aires, which was under a military regime. Carrà was one of the figures of the ATC, the official television network of Argentina. She was very well-received throughout Latin America, and filled the stadiums and theaters wherever she performed. In 1980 she filmed the Barbara musical romantic comedy, also in Buenos Aires, with the most important stars of the region. In that same year, five capitals of the world (Buenos Aires, Mexico DF, Rome, Moscow, and London) joined up to celebrate her in a television special. After appearing in the Festival de Vina del Mar (1982) she returned permanently to Italy. She visited the city of Salto, Uruguay and performed a show in the Parque Harriague.
Owing to this stint, Carrà has generated much social controversy along the years, allegedly as a "puppet" of the Argentinian National Reorganization Process.

Personal life

Carrà has had a twenty year relationship with the choreographer Sergio Japino.

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