Bellini

Bellini are a Euro-dance group from Germany whose debut single, "Samba de Janeiro," was a smash hit summer anthem in 1997 and was followed by numerous similarly styled if less popular songs over the years. Comprised chiefly of Cologne-based producers Ramon Zenker and Gottfried Engels (aka the Bellini Brothers), the group is named in commemoration of Brazilian soccer legend Hilderaldo Bellini and draws much of its musical inspiration from Brazil. Bellini made their recording debut in 1997 with the single "Samba de Janeiro" on the label Ritmo Latino. The song became a smash hit summer anthem in Germany, reaching number two on the singles chart and staying within the Top Ten for 13 weeks overall. Amid the song's long run of success, Bellini released a full-length album, Samba de Janeiro: The Album (1997), on Orbit Records. Subsequent singles on Ritmo Latino ("Carnaval," 1997; "Me Gusta la Vida," 1998; "Brazil," 2001) failed to rival the success of "Samba de Janeiro"; indeed, none peaked higher than number 71 on the German singles chart. A couple other singles released on Orbit Records ("Saturday Night," 1999; "Arriba Allez," 2000) were similarly unsuccessful from a relative standpoint, as were singles released on Kontor Records ("Magalenha," 2004) and Gang Go Music ("Tutti Frutti," 2004). Nonetheless, new Bellini singles continued to surface from time to time (i.e., "Let's Go to Rio," 2007; "Hot Hot Hot," 2008), generally just in time for summer. Many of the group's singles to date were compiled for release on the Orbit Records compilation Samba de Janeiro: Non-Stop Best of Bellini (2001). ~ Jason Birchmeier

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