By 2004, roughly a decade after she made her recording debut at the age of 18, Laura Pausini had sold over 25 million albums worldwide, quite an impressive feat for someone who'd never really broken into the lucrative English-language market. The Italian singer (born May 16, 1974) began her career at a young age, making her live debut at only age 12. Her singing didn't really take off until 1993, however, when she made her self-titled debut and scored a big hit with "La Solitudine." A year later -- in a practice that would come to define her career and compound her success -- she released a Spanish version of her debut, including a version of her breakthrough hit, titled accordingly as "Lo Soledad." Further albums followed for Pausini -- Laura (1995), Le Cose Che Vivi/Las Cosas Que Vives (1996), La Mia Risposta/Mi Respuesta (1998), Tra Te e il Mare/Entre Tu y Mil Mares (2000) -- each of them finding mass success in their respective markets. During these formative years, Pausini enjoyed her fame, for instance singing for Pope John Paul II at a special Vatican Christmas mass as well as at Barbra Streisand's birthday party in 1998, and embarking on sold-out world tours. She capped off this run of success with a round of greatest-hits collections -- The Best of Laura Pausini/Lo Mejor de Laura Pausini (2001) -- and, in turn, with what was planned to be her English-language crossover album, From the Inside (2002). There was a lot riding on From the Inside, it should noted, and so when it met a mixed reception and essentially struck out with consumers, a lot was made of its failure to penetrate the English-language market. She understandably took some time off after her world tour and didn't return until late 2004, with Resta in Ascolto/Escucha. Released a long four years since her last proper Romance-language studio album, this one had a lot riding on it as well, suffice it to say, considering not only the long wait but also the disappointment of From the Inside. So it was a relief when Resta in Ascolto/Escucha returned her to the top of the charts, particularly thanks to the power ballad "Víveme." In fact, Warner Music Latina reissued the album in America in late 2005 to capitalize on its Latin Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Album, adding a bonus DVD disc. Shortly after winning that Grammy Award, Warner released a triumphant live CD/DVD, Live in Paris 05, to capitalize on the momentum. The label then gave Pausini free reign to record an album of covers, Io Canto/Yo Canto (2006), consisting of Italian pop/rock songs mainly from the '90s that had greatly influenced her. ~ Jason BirchmeierPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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