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10 September 1951 - 14 September 2004

Giuseppa Romeo (Giuni’s real name) was officially born in Sicily, Italy. Giuni's family took lyrical music into utmost consideration. Her mother was a natural soprano, as Giuni herself was. At a very young age, Giuni had her first singing and composing lessons quickly developing her great natural talents. In 1967, under the name of Giusy Romeo she won the Castrocaro Festival with the song ‘A Chi’ (an italian cover version of Hurt by Timi Yuro). She was awarded the right to participate to San Remo Festival. In 1968 she sang ‘No Amore’ - her first single - at the 18th San Remo Festival. On the same year were released two more singles including ‘L'onda’ and ‘I Primi Minuti’, the italian cover of Aretha Frankling's ‘I Say a Little Prayer’. In 1969 Giuni moved to Milan were she was to spent most of her life. There she met Maria Antonietta Sisini, a musician who would share with Giuni the ups and downs of a 36 years long rare artistic union and friendship. In the seventies, Giuni changed her name in Junie Russo and recorded a few tracks for some minor labels. Her first album, ‘Love is a woman’ - with english lyrics - was released in 1975 under the name Junie Russo. All the tracks are signed by Giuni and Maria Antonietta Sisini.

In 1978 she changes her name again now to Giuni Russo. It was then that her lifelong collaboration with Franco Battiato also begins. In 1981 Giuni releases the fine album ‘Energie’, but the big hit comes the following year with the single ‘Un'estate al mare’. The song wins Giuni the 1982 Festivalbar contest and a huge popularity. The albums released in the following years - ‘Vox’(1983), ‘Mediterranea’ (1984), ‘Giuni’ (1986) and ‘Album’(1987) - unveil a constant artistic evolution. In this period Giuni scores many hits (‘Good good bye’, ‘Sere d'agosto’ and ‘Limonata cha cha cha’) and a duet hit with singer Rettore, the hysterical ‘Adrenalina’.

In 1988 the album ‘A casa di Ida Rubinstein’ marks the end of Giuni's easy pop phase and she lays herself into singing popular arias and romances by Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi. In 1994 she teams up with her friend Battiato (who is also going through his classical music phase at the time) for the project ‘Strade paralelle’. In the same year the album’Se fossi più simpatica sarei meno antipatica’ is released with music based on an imaginative interpretation of a writing by Ettore Petrolini. In 1997 Giuni is called to work with Giorgio Albertazzi for the theatrical show Verba Tango. She sings lyrics by Jorges Luis Borges. On the same year the single Gabbiano is released, to be followed in the intentions by Gelsomini d'Arabia, a discographic project that never came to be. In 2002, after four years of absence from the recording market and of an intense activity of live performances, Giuni publishes ‘Signorina Romeo live’. 2003 is the year of the great comeback to the mass audience. Giuni performed ‘Morirò d’amore’ at the 53rd Sanremo Festival. The album ‘Irradiazioni’ was released the same year. The night between 13 and 14 September 2004 Giuni Russo died of cancer in her home in Milan. Her last wish was to be buried in the Carmelite Nuns' cemetery. After her death Giuni is honoured by other Italian artists with the tribute album ‘Giuseppa Romeo’ released in 2006.

On the web:

- Giuni's website: http://www.giunirusso.it

What do we think:

PR: It might take some time to learn to appreceate Giuni's singing style. But in the end, her voice simply gets to you and won't let go. Her voice is a unique instrument - somewhere between classical and pop - which she uses to sing these beautiful Italian songs with. Together with musical friend Franco Battiato, she discovered her own musical identity in the early eighties. Since then, she released some remarkable and highly creative albums, practically uncomparable to any artist I know. She is part Klaus Nomi (the classical voice and drama), she is part Milva (you see images of Italian beaches and cities when she sings), she is part Rettore (the catchy new wave), she is part Battiato (the intelligent songwriting and musical production). But first and foremost she is Guni Russo, a great, unique artists that deserves to be discovered (and remembered) by all who are interested in Europopmusic.

DB: I'll be honest, Giuni Russo's music didn't appael to me at first. It sounded like someone was trying to sing but wasn't sure what key she would use. The result is quite odd to say the least. But after you get used to her rather strange way of singing the music is actually very good and very popmusic. It takes some getting used to but after a while her songs will turn up in your favourite list.

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Franco Battiato (Italy)

Jean Guidoni (France)


Love is a woman - 1975

♪♪♪♪♪ - Energie - 1981

Vox - 1983

♪♪♪♪ - Mediterranea - 1984

Giuni - 1986

♪♪♪ - Album - 1987

♪♪ - A casa di Ida Rubinstein - 1988

♪♪ - Amala - 1992

♪♪♪♪♪ - Se fossi più simpatica sarei meno antipatica - 1994

♪♪♪ - Voce prigioniera (live) - 1998

♪♪♪♪♪ - Signorina Romeo Live - 2002

♪♪♪ - Morirò d'amore - 2003

♪♪ - Irradiazioni - 2003

♪♪♪♪ - Demo De Midi - 2003

♪♪ - Napoli che canta - 2004

♪♪ - Unusual - 2005

♪♪♪ - Cercati in me - 2008

♪♪- A casa di Rubinstein 2011 cd + dvd - 2011

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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