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Renato Zero

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We Are The World Luciano Pavarotti, Ricky Martin, Zucchero, B.B. King 05:50
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Figaro Renato Zero 07:49
I migliori anni della nostra vita Renato Zero 04:25
Cercami Renato Zero 05:40
Tu si 'na cosa grande Renato Zero 03:36
Nei giardini che nessuno sa Renato Zero 05:54
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Più su Renato Zero 05:19

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A legendary, flamboyant showman of Italian pop music, Renato Zero started out performing a drag act at the age of 14 before becoming a cult glam rock favourite in the mid-1970s and selling over 40 million records.

Growing up in central Rome, his father was a policeman and his mother a nurse, but Renato Fiachini had a theatrical streak from a young age and was briefly enrolled at the Roberto Rossellini State Institute for Cinematography and Television. Even in his early days he stood out from the crowd with his make-up, feather boas and sequinned stage outfits, but his camp, sexual androgyny antagonised conservative audiences in the 1960s and he named himself Renato Zero after regularly receiving the heckle "sei uno zero" meaning "you are nothing".

He was discovered at the Piper nightclub in Rome by choreographer Don Lurio who hired him as backing dancer for teen idol Rita Pavone and he released his first single 'Non Basta Sai' in 1967, but continued to search for his big break with small cameos in films and roles in stage musicals. Things began to pick up for him when he signed a record deal in 1972 with RCA and, with the emergence of artists such as David Bowie and Marc Bolan, Zero found a similar audience for his colourful showmanship and the albums 'Trapezio' in '76 and 'Zerofobia' in '77 set him up as a controversial, groundbreaking star of the Italian pop scene.

He went on to score a string of number one albums including 'EroZero', 'Tregua' and 'Artide Antartide' and embarked on stadium tours in the '80s, while also starring as himself in the musical thriller film 'Ciao Ni!'. By the 1990s his outlandish outfits were replaced by smart suits and his songs were backed by the Euro-disco, electro-pop production style of the time, but after finishing second at the Sanremo Music Festival with 'Spalle al Muri', he returned to widespread popularity with number one albums 'Quando Non Sei Piu di Nessundo' and L'Imperfetto'. He also had songs featured on the soundtrack to the Tim Burton film 'Nightmare Before Christmas', performed a duet of his track 'Il Cielo' with legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti and released his 30th album 'Presente' in 2009, before becoming the first artist to top the Italian charts in five consecutive decades with 'Amo - Capitolo I'.