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Domenico Modugno; Recorded 'Volare'

August 09, 1994

Domenico Modugno, 66, Italian pop singer who gained fame in the United States with his hit "Volare." Although critics viewed the singer as only a good guitarist, Modugno won awards at Italy's prestigious San Remo Music Festival two years in a row by singing his own compositions. The first in 1958 was "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu," which means "In the Blue Sky Painted Blue," better known in the United States for one of its lyrics, "Volare" or "To Fly." In 1959, he won with "Piove" meaning "It Rains," but that Italian hit did not translate to additional sales or fame in the United States. Popular in Italy from 1953 to 1976, Modugno also recorded an Italian version of "Mack the Knife." He was involved in politics and in 1987 was elected to the national Chamber of Deputies on the Radical Party ticket. On Saturday on the Italian island of Lampedusa of an apparent heart attack.

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