Raffaella Carrà, the pop singer and actress who was an entertainment icon in her homeland Italy, died at the age of 78.
Her longtime partner Sergio Iapino announced her death and said: “Raffaella has left us. She has gone to a better world where her humanity, distinctive smile, and extraordinary talent will shine forever. ”He said she had struggled with a nameless disease for some time.
Carrà is best known in the UK for her single Do It, Do It Again, which peaked at number 9 in 1978 and spent 12 weeks in the charts. It was much more successful in Italy, where it was described in 1984 by L’Espresso magazine: “More applause than [president] Pertini, more expensive than [football player] Michel Platini, more wonderful than [modern saint] Padre Pio. “
Born in Bologna in 1943, Carrà studied dance and first became an actor in the “peplum” genre of the Italian historical epic. Inspired by her success, she moved to the United States and played alongside Frank Sinatra and others in Von Ryan’s Express (1965), but soon returned to Italy and became a presenter on the television variety show Canzonissima, which frequently performed songs and dance pieces were from her.
She was occasionally censored with her outfits and routines considered racy by the standards of the era, but her career lasted through the 1970s. She also became very popular in Spain with another variety show, La Hora de Raffaella, and in South America after moving to Buenos Aires in 1979.
She was a gay icon across Europe and was also seen as a feminist icon: In the original Italian version, Do It, Do It Again encourages women to take control of sex. “I think Raffaella Carrà did more to free women than many feminists,” said Francesco Vezzoli, Curator of an exhibition on Italian television from the 1970s for the Fondazione Prada in 2017.
Carrà returned in 1983 with Pronto, Raffaella? returned to Italian television and continued her TV career until 2019, including as a juror for the Italian edition of The Voice. A Spanish musical based on their songs, Explota Explota, was released in 2020.
During her career she released 25 studio albums, most recently in 2018 “Whenever it’s Christmas”.