Francesco De Gregori’s career has spanned several decades, and he remains one of the most respected and successful singer-songwriters in Italy.
His unique lyrical style, poetic songs, and ability to tackle various themes have solidified his place as “The Prince of the singer-songwriters”.
Who Is Francesco De Gregori?
Francesco De Gregori OMRI, born on April 4, 1951, is a renowned Italian singer-songwriter known as “Il Principe dei cantautori” or “The Prince of the Singer-songwriters” due to the elegance of his lyrics.
While he is frequently referred to as a singer-songwriter and poet, he wants to be referred to just as an “artist.”
Giorgio and Rita Grechi raised De Gregori in a middle-class family in Rome. He spent part of his childhood in Pescara before moving to Rome.
Luigi Grechi, his older brother, was also a musician, but he went by the stage name Luigi Grechi to prevent confusion with Francesco. Luigi also had a great solo career.
De Gregori began playing his songs, which were mostly personal adaptations of American folk tunes, at the Folkstudio in Rome, a venue frequented by his brother.
He was influenced by performers such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Fabrizio de André. At one of De Gregori’s performances, Fabrizio de André is believed to have listened to and liked his work.
De Gregori founded a band with his pals Antonello Venditti, Mimmo Locasciulli, and Giorgio Lo Cascio, who all went on to have successful solo careers. De Gregori made his professional vocal debut with Theorius Campus, a partnership with Venditti, in 1972.
Despite the inclusion of the early classic “Signora Aquilone” (“Kite Lady”) on the record, Venditti’s talent and voice garnered him greater notoriety from the label, leading to the duo’s breakup.
Alice non-lo sa (1973), De Gregori’s next album, was a commercial flop. The title track, “Alice,” however, became famous on numerous music shows and is still one of De Gregori’s best-known songs.
Francesco De Gregori’s 1974 album (also known as “Sheep” due to the cover picture) had experimental and, at times, strange lyrics. Despite another commercial disaster, RCA Music continued to believe in De Gregori’s potential.
His next album, Rimmel (1975), went on to become one of the most successful Italian albums of the 1970s. It featured several of his most well-known songs, as well as his beautiful lyrics and mature musical approach.
During a concert in Milan in 1976, extreme left agitators accused De Gregori of exploiting left-wing messages for commercial interests.
De Gregori opted to end his musical career out of fear for his safety. He then spent two years working as a bookshop and music store cashier. During this time, he married Alessandra Gobbi, his high school sweetheart, and they had two boys.
De Gregori returned to the music scene in 1978 with the self-titled album De Gregori, which featured the smash song “Generale.” He argued that the song was too significant to be kept out of the music industry.
The next year, he joined Lucio Dalla for the popular Banana Republic live tour and recorded the studio album Viva l’Italia, which featured American musicians.
Despite the fact that the title tune became the Italian Socialist Party’s anthem, De Gregori was opposed to the choice.
After a brief absence, De Gregori returned with the album Titanic, which was a financial and critical triumph. The Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera named it the finest Italian album from 1975 to 2005.
The mini-album La Donna Cannone, which featured his long-running hit “La Donna Cannone,” was his next major release.
De Gregori published many albums and collections during the 1990s and 2000s, with his songwriting becoming increasingly influenced by Bob Dylan.
De Gregori and Lucio Dalla reunited for a series of concerts and the release of the album “Work in Progress” in 2010. They also starred on the TV show “Due” and performed at the 2011 May Day Concert in Rome.
Who Is Francesco De Gregori’s First Wife?
Francesco De Gregori’s first wife is known as Alessandra Gobbi, his high school sweetheart, and they had two boys.