Italy’s most successful rock star Vasco Rossi has announced that he will be retiring from the rock scene after his current tour. Rossi, who will be 60 next February, stated in a shock interview on RAI TV that he can no longer keep up the pace of the ‘on the road’ rock star lifestyle and will give up touring, although he will not completely disappear from the business.
The singer and songwriter from Modena started his career in the late seventies although failed to obtain large scale success until his fourth album Siamo solo noi in 1981. A controversial performance at the Sanremo Song Festival in 1982 with the song Vado al massimo became a further stepping stone to success and admiration among Italian fans looking for a home-grown star among the usual Anglo-American stars of the time. His song Vita spericolata the following year, also premiered at Sanremo, became the anthem of a whole generation and continues to be a crowd favourite and a ‘classic’ of Italian popular music. A drug raid in his home near Bologna in the spring of 1984, where he was found in possession of cocaine, only helped him along the way to ‘cult’ status among fans, and his success rocketed throughout the 80s and 90s with a string of successful albums and his famous ‘stadium’ concerts drawing huge crowds nationwide. An audience of 130,000 at the Heineken Jamming Festival in Imola in 1998 remains a record for crowd attendance at an Italian rock concert.
Although fairly well known in continental Europe, Vasco Rossi remains a peculiarly Italian rock phenomenon. In 2010 he blamed his lack of success outside Italy on American and British governments who, he claimed, banned foreign artists from becoming successful in their countries.
Rossi has three children, one of which was only officially ‘recognised’ 17 years after his birth following a DNA test.
Biography by ondarock (in Italian)