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Raffaella Carrà, icon of TV and music but also of the ‘joy of sex’


First showgirl of the small black and white screen, Raffaella Carrà, who died today at the age of 78, had earned the title of “queen of Italian television” since the early 70s on the wave of the great success of “Canzonissima” . But it was also an icon of pop music, finding great acclaim abroad, especially in Spain and Latin America, with over 60 million records sold. Read also In 2020 the British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ crowned Raffaella Carrà as a European sex symbol, calling her “the cultural icon who taught Europe the joys of sex”. Also thanks to the “Tuca tuca”, the ballet with sexy movements that broke a taboo in the Rai of 1971. And for his ironic and slightly transgressive songs he was also an icon of the gay world for some time. “Raffaella Carrà: the Italian pop star that taught Europe the joy of sex “, the title of the long and heartfelt tribute that the London newspaper on November 16, 2020 dedicated to the Italian diva on the occasion of the presentation in three important festivals (Tallinn Black Nights film festival, international festival of cinema of Almería and Turin Film festival) of ‘Explota Explota’ (English title ‘My Heart Goes Boom!’) musical comedy on the notes of the great successes of Raffaella Carrà, first work by the Uruguayan director Nacho Álvarez, shot between Madrid, Pamplona and Rome and co-produced by Spain (Tornasol) and Italy (Indigo Film). “In addition to becoming one of the best-known personalities in her native Italy, Raffaella Carrà – wrote ‘The Guardian’ – caused a sensation in the Spanish-speaking world of the twentieth century. Where Sweden had the Abba, Italy had the Carrà, who has sold millions of records across Europe “. “From the 1950s onwards, Carrà, who could sing, dance and act just as well, had an unparalleled influence in Italian music and pop culture,” the British newspaper continued. “Technically speaking, Italy had much more gifted vocal singers,” added ‘The Guardian’, quoting Mina, Milva, Patty Pravo and Giuni Russo. But, he added, “the Carrà has surpassed them all”. The English newspaper retraced his entire career: his stay in America from which he returned “with the conviction that Italian entertainment needed a jolt of energy”; success in television variety shows where he incorporated “Broadway-inspired song and dance sequences”; the success of the theme songs, starting with ‘Ma Che Musica Maestro’, which caused the scandal of the first navel shown on state TV; the censorship on the ‘Tuca Tuca’; the “proto-glam” clothing and the blond bob “that makes Anna Wintour’s look dull”; success in post-Franco Spain; the song ‘Luca’ which for the first time spoke of homosexuality in a direct and light way (something “unheard of in Catholic Italy” of those years, and “it is not surprising that Carrà has become an international gay icon”, underlines the Guardian); success with talk shows in the 1980s What made the difference with other of her peers, for the English newspaper, was the “combination of sex appeal and accessibility”. “He taught women that having free will in the bedroom was not scandalous, that it is okay to fall in love with a gay man and that not all relationships are exactly healthy”, wrote the newspaper, recalling passages such as’ A Far L’Amore Comincia Tu ‘and’ Forte Forte ‘, from the opposite message. And again, the song ‘Tanti Auguri’ “has become a hymn to sex and sexuality” (“but turning this earth I am convinced that there is no hate there is no war when love is “,” How beautiful it is to make love from Trieste down, the important thing is to always do it with whoever you want “). “Most of his sexual pop anthems are a product of 1970s Italian TV, but they are not relics of the past: Italians still know the lyrics by heart and sing them as soon as the opportunity arises.” Today it seems a simple thing to solicit sexual pleasure in a song, but, concluded the “Guardian”, Raffaella Carrà “was a pioneer who helped people to live more fulfilling lives, using rhythms that no one with blood in their veins can resist”.



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