Laura Pausini, OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [pauˈziːni]; born 16 May 1974) is an Italian pop singer-songwriter. She debuted in 1993, winning the newcomer artists’ section of the 43rd Sanremo Music Festival with the song “La solitudine”, which became an Italian standard and an international hit, reaching the top spot on the Italian Musica e Dischi singles chart, as well as on the Dutch Top 40 and on the Flemish VRT Top 30. As of today, she has released ten studio albums, an international greatest hits album and two compilation albums released for the Hispanic and Anglophone market only, respectively. She performs most of her songs both in Italian and Spanish, but she has also recorded songs in English, French and Portuguese.
During her career, she has won numerous awards including four World Music Award, three Latin Grammy Awards and a Grammy Award, becoming the first Italian female artist to win this award, receiving the prize for Best Latin Pop Album with Escucha. She has been honored as a Commander Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. In 2004, Allmusic’s Jason Birchmeier considered Pausini’s sales “an impressive feat for someone who’d never really broken into the lucrative English–language market”. As of 2011, according to Warner Music Italy, Pausini had sold more than 45 million records worldwide, while other esteemed sales as those brought by the RAI, affirm that she has sold around 70 million records.
Her eponymous debut album was released in Italy on 23 April 1993 and later became an international success, selling two million copies worldwide. Her second studio album, Laura, was released in 1994 and confirmed her international success, selling three million copies worldwide and spawning the hit singles “Strani amori” and “Gente”. In November 1994 she released her first Spanish language album, titled Laura Pausini and composed of ten songs included in her previous works. The album was certified diamond by the Association of Phonographic and Videographic of Spain, making her the first non-Spanish artist to sell more than one million copies in Spain. All of her albums earned the top-five on the Italian Albums Chart, and six of them reached the first position in Italy. Pausini has also released 14 top-ten singles in Italy, including five number-ones.