Singer/songwriter Luigi Giovanni Maria "Gatto" Panceri was born in Monza on May 26, 1962. In 1986 he took part inthe Sanremo Music Festival -- under the name of Gigi Panceri -- with the song "Scherzi della Vita," and in the same period he released the EP A Cento Metri da Casa and the album Il Suono del Gatto. In 1989 a demo of one of his songs, "Canterò per Te," was heard by Mina, who decided to include it on her album Uiallalla, thus kick-starting Panceri's career. With former PFM bassist Patric Djivas as a producer, in 1991 Panceri released what he later considered his real debut album, Cavoli Amari, and the single "Aiuto," with which he took part in the Festivalbar singing competition. The record was re-released the following year with the inclusion of a new track, "L'Amore Va Oltre," which Panceri sang at that year's Sanremo Music Festival. Thanks to the huge success of the single "Un Qualunque Posto Fuori o Dentro di Te," the album sold more than 50,000 copies. In 1994 Panceri released his sophomore effort, Succede a Chi Ci Crede, and this time the hit single was titled "Abita in Te." In the meantime, he had also written songs for other artists, such as Gianni Morandi, Giorgia, and Mietta. He also penned Andrea Bocelli and Giorgia's duet "Vivo per Lei," one of the most famous Italian songs of the decade.
Impronte Digitali, a collection of unreleased tracks and remixes, was released in 1995, followed in 1997 by the self-produced Stellina, which -- thanks to the singles "Le Tue Mani" and "Mia" -- sold 90,000 copies. In 1999 he again participated in the Sanremo Music Festival, this time with "Dove Dov'è," and later he won that year's Un Disco per l'Estate with "Anello di Fumo" -- both of these songs were included in his fifth album, Cercasi Amore. In 2000 Panceri participated with Angelo Branduardi in the Youth Jubilee concert in Rome, playing in front of the Pope and an audience of more than two million people. Vibrazioni and 7 Vite followed in 2001 and 2003, respectively, while Panceri continued writing songs for other artists, e.g., Syria, Fausto Leali, Riccardo Fogli, and Dennis. In 2006 Panceri signed with Solo Musica Italiana and released Passaporto, followed in 2007 by The Best of Gatto Panceri, a double CD including all his hits from 1992 to 2001. ~ Aurelio Pasini