The woman who would later affectionately be called La Tigre di Cremona ("The Tiger from Cremona"), Mina, one of the most popular and influential postwar Italian artists, was born in the province of Lombardy in 1940. Her first performance came in 1958 at a club called La Bussola, near Lucca, where Ducale-Italdisc Broadway producer David Matalon was impressed with the young singer and soon recorded four songs with her: two in English under the name Baby Gate -- "Be Bop a Lula" and "When" -- and two in Italian as Mina: "Non Partir" and "Malatia." It was the latter name that she stuck with for her debut album, Tintarella di Luna, which was released in 1960.
During the early '60s, she continued to record dozens of albums, and thanks to her high visibility in the television commercials that began in Italy after WWII, and the economic boom that followed, she became one of the country's most famous stars. Although Mina went on a brief hiatus in 1974, she made a 1978 live album, recorded at La Bussola, to celebrate her 20-year career. In 1981, she released Salome', Vol. 2. Taking a considerably longer hiatus (12 years), Mina began releasing greatest-hits collections and numerous new recordings in 1993 and continuing well into the new millennium. These included 2013’s Ora O Mai Piu and Singolare & Plurale in 2015. ~ Marisa Brown