A global icon for decades, Eros Ramazzotti released his first single in 1982, “Ad Un Amico.” Things really took off for Eros a few years later when his 1985 single “Una Storia Importante” — he is known to record his albums in both Italian and Spanish — sold a million copies in France alone and became a hit throughout Europe. He expanded his reach to the United States in 1991 when he became the first Italian artist to headline Radio City Music Hall, which he did at the urging of New York-based music industry icon Clive Davis. 60 million albums have been sold by Eros, who has duetted with Cher, Tina Turner, Ricky Martin, Luciano Pavarotti and Nicole Scherzinger, to name only a few key artists.
Success has not slowed down Eros, who released his Perfetto — his 13th full-length studio album — last year via Universal Music. His world tour in support of Perfetto continues, and the singer/songwriter will be headlining a show at the Barclays Center on Oct. 5. Eros caught up with Downtown about his love for New York and what else is coming up for him.
More info on Eros Ramazzotti can be found at his official website: www.ramazzotti.com.
Where was the first concert you ever played in New York City? What do you remember about it?
Eros Ramazzotti: In 1991 I performed at Radio City Music Hall after Clive Davis’ advice. I was the first Italian ever to hold a concert there and it sold out. A memorable experience, even if I had broken a leg and had a cast that limited my movement on stage.
Is touring in the U.S. different from it is elsewhere? Will a lot of your show at the Barclays Center be in English?
ER: Every country or major area where I tour is different. And that is the biggest privilege of my career: I get to perform for audiences on three continents, and receive different feedback from place to place. In the U.S. it’s surprising to see how nicely people welcome me, even if I only sing in Italian or Spanish.
Have you ever been to Brooklyn before?
ER: Of course, many times and I am pleased to see how nicely it has improved there over the last 10 years. I also performed at Barclays Center three years ago.
Is there a professional accomplishment that you are most proud of?
ER: Many — again, the opportunity to perform in so many countries is one of them. But I’m also very proud to represent Italian culture in the world. Artistically, I’ve always been very proud of having been contacted by Tina Turner. It was thrilling to hear that she was a fan of my music. We collaborated on a fantastic duet called “Cose della Vita.”
Is there something that you wish more people knew about Eros Ramazzotti?
ER: That I’m not a stereotypical superstar, but a very easy-going guy with a humble approach to life and music.
What is coming up for you after this Barclays Center show?
ER: We will complete the U.S. dates of my world tour, which has been going on for 13 months now, in L.A. and Miami, then Mexico. I will then return to Europe for a final round of shows.
When you’re not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
ER: With my wife and my kids. It’s amazing to watch them grow up. And of course with lots of music, I’m always playing, making up new melodies or hearing new and old music. For instance, I went to see Tom Jones last night and it was incredible.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
ER: Several. Italian food in New York can be very refined and authentic.
Finally, Eros, any last words for the kids?
ER: Thank you all for your support across the years. I can’t wait to see you at my show and give you all of my best. There will be a great deal of old hits as well as my new songs. We have put together a big show and hope you will enjoy it.