87 Facts About Dalida


Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti, professionally known as Dalida, was an Italian-French singer and actress, born in Egypt.


One year later, having signed with the Barclay record company, Dalida achieved her first success as a singer with "Bambino".


Dalida's music charted in many countries in Europe, Latin America, North America, and Asia.


Dalida collaborated with singers such as Julio Iglesias, Charles Aznavour, Johnny Mathis and Petula Clark.


Dalida was deeply disturbed by the suicide of her partner Luigi Tenco in 1967.


Dalida was born Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti in Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt, on 17 January 1933.


Dalida's father Pietro Gigliotti and mother Filomena Giuseppina were born in Serrastretta, Calabria in Italy.


Dalida underwent eye operations between the ages of three and five.


Dalida graduated in 1951, and began working as a copy typist in a pharmaceutical company the same year.


Dalida's first residence was a room in an apartment of Gastyne's friend, the impresario Vidal.


Dalida met with a number of directors, auditioned for movie roles, but failed each time.


Dalida was strict and used to yell, with Dalila responding even more loudly.


On 9 April 1956, Dalida participated in the singing contest Les Numeros 1 de demain, performing Etrangere au Paradis.


Together with their friend Coquatrix, they were greatly impressed after Dalida won the contest, and arranged a meeting with her.


On 2 May 1956 in Barclay's office at 20, Rue de Madrid, Dalida signed a renewable one-year contract, with a modest percentage on record sales, with the promise of increasing it if the expected success was accomplished.


Dalida planned to promote her through a series of concerts, including two concerts at the Olympia, two weeks in Bobino, and a tour of the provinces.


Dalida continued performing live throughout the latter part of 1956, while her promoters worked on developing a song that would make her a star; Morisse asked lyricist Jacques Larue to write a French language version of "Guaglione", the winning song of recent fifth Festival di Napoli, which would become Bambino.


The future iconic symbol of the hall, Becaud and Dalida became the first two names to appear in it.


Dalida's experimenting with exotica resulted with "Gondolier", released over Christmas in 1957.


The reappearances of the video in the 1970s made the moment notable, and public started considering it iconic as Dalida dared to do such thing on television during conventional times of society.


In late 1958, Dalida returned to film for her first on-screen role in four years, playing supporting role of singer-spy in the mystery film Rapt au deuxieme bureau.


On 26 December 1958 Dalida was in New York with Morisse where they met Norman Granz, the American impresario of Ella Fitzgerald, who invited her to Hollywood and offered a fifteen-year contract to launch her career in the United States.


Dalida quickly rejected the offer, saying that she wanted to focus on her musical career in France where she was already well-known with a secure fan base.


Dalida toured extensively in 1959, playing sold-out dates in France, Egypt, Italy, and Germany.


Dalida understood five languages and interpreted her songs in eleven languages: German, Egyptian Arabic, English, Lebanese Arabic, Spanish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese and Dutch.


In late summer, Dalida was back in the studio to record her first major international hit.


Dalida performed in successful sold out concerts in Berlin, Athens and Cairo, delivering a sentimental performance in front of a crowd in Rivoli cinema that she frequented as a child.


On 23 September 1959, Dalida sang in a successful three-week run at Parisian Theatre de l'Etoile, where a jukebox was installed in recognition of her being named Mademoiselle Jukebox, the most listened to artist on jukeboxes in France.


Dalida debuted 1960 with "T'aimer follement", a chart topper in France and Belgium in February.


Dalida eventually recorded it in five different languages and made a video for TV emission Toute la chanson.


Back in France, Dalida was not pleased with emergence of the new musical style ye-ye as the new singers would only occupy the charts and then irretrievably disappear.


Also, since the appearance of new radio programs for youth like Salut les copains, both the music hall songs and singers, like Dalida, started to be regarded completely obsolete.


Dalida then completed a year-long world tour, performing in countries across Europe, in Canada and several Arab states.


In January 1961, Dalida covered The Drifters' "Save the last dance for me" as "Garde Moi la Derniere Danse" that reached top two.


Dalida issued two albums Dalida internationale and Loin de moi.


The movie features several other recordings by Dalida, including posthumously released "Ho trovato la felicita".


Rihoit described: "sealing her appearance of the early 60's, since it is her first color film, all the power and acting potential that Dalida carries in herself and transmits to the screen is clearly visible".


Under the direction of young Claude Lelouch, who later became one of the most acclaimed French directors, Dalida was dressed as a soldier, walked through a war-torn forest in the middle of the bombs and had accompanied real scenes from the Second World War.


An unusual image of Dalida found its public and was a hit in cafes.


Dalida fully spent 1963 delivering live appearance across the whole world and dedicating herself more to Canadian youth public, as in France the ye-ye experienced its greatest swing in this period.


Dalida's world tour was a success, with sold out concerts in Europe from Portugal to Poland, Canada, Asia, Fort-de-France, Latin America and the Arabian countries.


Dalida dedicated the late summer period again to filming, so she went to Hong Kong for three months to star in B movie L'Inconnue de Hong-Kong, alongside Serge Gainsbourg.


In January 1963 at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dalida was awarded with the Oscar Mondiale del Successo dei Juke Box award for the most listened artist on the jukeboxes in Europe.


The tour's French leg started on 11 April 1964, after which Dalida traveled 30,000 kilometers solely by car during its five-month run, with a public attendance over 200,000.


Dalida was awarded with a platinum disc for surpassing sales of over 10 million records since her debut in 1956.


Back on world tour in 1965, Dalida held concerts in Fort-de-France where she was welcomed by more than 20,000 enthusiastic Martinicans who caused a stagnation in the city.


The next day, Dalida herself rewarded Juliana Brown, the winner of Dalida Song Contest which was established in her honour.


In June 1965, Dalida recorded "La Danse de Zorba", a song from 1964 comedy movie Zorba the Greek, which became her biggest international success since "24 mille baisers" in early 1961.


The year debuted with a number-one hit in Latin America, "El Cordobes", which was a product of friend collaboration with bullfighter Manuel Benitez, to whom Dalida dedicated the song as they had a brief affair.


Dalida returned to wide screen, with a supportive role in French satiric movie La Morale de l'histoire that included the unreleased song "Je sortirais sans toi".


Under the influence of stage fright and alcohol, Tenco delivered a very bad interpretation while Dalida concluded the evening with ovation, but eventually they were eliminated in the first round.


In September, Dalida issued her first compilation album De Bambino a Il silenzio, collecting her gross hits from 1956 to 1965, which was one of the earliest greatest hits albums ever.


Dalida came back to film for her first main role in five years, in Italian romantic drama Io ti amo, acting as stewardess Judy alongside Alberto Lupo.


In 1969, during the third leg that started on 9 January in Milan, for the first time in career Dalida performed in Yugoslavia and in lower parts of Africa.


Dalida was awarded with MIDEM, award for the best selling artist of the year in Italy, and her first Radio Luxembourg singer of the year award, which she went on to win for several more times.


In October 1971, Dalida intended to book herself at Olympia for her big Parisian comeback after four years.


Bruno Coquatrix did not believe in her change of style and refused to produce the show so Dalida rented and paid the venue by herself.


Dalida again triumphed, with public and critics plebiscite new repertoire nicknaming her "the queen of the theater" and "a modern Phaedra".


Dalida continued to choose her new songs only for their poetic value, but still paid less attention to their commercial promotion, again traveling to Asia to develop a better understanding of herself.


Dalida came back to high sales in September 1972 with "Parle plus bas", a cover of Godfathers title song.


The renditions of the song during the future years left a huge impact on French society and shaped an image of Dalida, described by Vanity Fair as "ultimate drama queen".


Around the same time, the popularity of the variety show was increasing in France and Dalida started making television appearances on a weekly basis there and across Europe.


Dalida continued touring the world, including the US, for the second time since the 1950s, by playing two nights in New York City's Carnegie Hall in November 1978.


In total, Dalida performed for three hours per day for fifteen days with ten costume changes and twelve dancers in front of an audience of around 90,000 people.


Dalida toured in the whole Western and Eastern Europe except Yugoslavia and the USSR.


Dalida left disco and started singing slower, moody, deep-minded songs with typical 1980s instruments.


Dalida refused to be a model for Marianne of France.


Dalida launched a new world tour in 1982 and spent most of 1982 to 1984 playing sold-out concerts from Rio de Janeiro across Europe to Asia.


Dalida made a lot of TV appearances in the 1980s almost every second week.


Dalida successfully engaged to keep the new radio station NRJ on air through her connections.


Dalida underwent two major eye operations in 1985 and put her career on hold as the stage lights started to become difficult for her to endure.


Dalida released "Reviens-moi", a cover of George Michael's "Last Christmas".


Dalida returned to France to promote the movie in late 1985.


Dalida did promote the album but not as well as she used to do previously, due to issues in her private life which had never been worse since 1967.


Dalida, therefore, spent more and more time in her house alone or going out with friends in an attempt to amuse herself, again neglecting her career.


Dalida ceased to create new material in the recording studio, instead devoting herself to perform concerts.


Once again organising a lot of concerts on a monthly basis and singing her previously-known hits, Dalida was then known for the amazing "show" performances, wearing her wardrobe from 1980 to 1982.


Dalida's performance was not recorded by the national television of Turkey which was the only TV channel in the country.


One month later, Dalida attempted to take her life by drug overdose at the Prince de Galles hotel in Paris.


Dalida spent five days in a coma and several months convalescing.


Dalida had contributed to his success in France when he opened concerts for her in 1971 at l'Olympia.


Dalida is buried at the Montmartre Cemetery, 18th Division, Chemin des Gardes.


Dalida is a gay icon in France and the Middle East.


In 2003, for the award "Greatest Singer of the Century" in France, Dalida was placed third after Madonna and Celine Dion, which means that she remained the number one favorite artist in France.


Dalida's output has been the subject of various remix albums.


Since her death, many of Dalida's hits have been remixed to modern techno and dance beats.


In 2009, Lara Fabian said that Dalida had influenced her the most.