Zucchero performing in Denmark, 2007.

Zucchero “Sugar” Fornaciari performing in Denmark, 2007.

Zucchero “Sugar” Fornaciari

Zucchero “Sugar” Fornaciari was born Adelmo Fornaciari in Roncocesi, September 25, 1955. Between 1970 and 1978, he formed his first band in Forte die Marmi in Tuscany, Italy. During that time, his name changed to Zucchero. Zucchero is a nickname given to him by one of his school teachers. He was making a name for himself in Italy, but it wouldn’t be long before he became well-known throughout Europe, and later the rest of the world.

By 1981, Zucchero he had won the Castrocar Festival with ‘Canto Te‘. In 1983, he recorded his first album, Un Po di Zucchero. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Zucchero developed his sound and worked with some of the biggest names in music including The Rolling Stones, U2, Peter Gabriel, Bebe, Sting, and Elton John. Zucchero blends blues, gospel, and soul to create a sexy, spicy style that has very broad appeal the world over.

From there, Zucchero “Sugar” Fornaciari became one of Italy’s best known rock stars, with a thriving career in Europe. In 2001, his single “Baila (Sexy Thing)” from his album, Shake, immediately went to #1 in Italy. It also performed well in Switzerland and, for the first time ever, topped the charts in Spain. On Shake, Zucchero worked with legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker. In 2014, “Baila” has been revamped for Zucchero’s latest release, La Sesion Cubana.

Over the course of his four decade career, Zucchero has sold over 40 million albums throughout the world and has won many awards. He is Grammy nominated and has won two World Music Awards. He’s also won six IFPI Europe Platinum Awards. I knew nothing about any of this until I got my hands on La Sesion Cubana, which was my first taste of Zucchero’s infectious energy and style. In 2014, Zucchero Fornaciari is on tour in the United States and Canada. Judging by his live recordings and videos, he puts on an energetic show.

Zucchero performs “Vedo Nero” and “Baila” from La Sesion Cubana.

Zucchero’s “Guantanamera” from La Sesion Cubana.