Born in Naples but raised in Vienna, Patrizio Buanne spent much of his youth listening to Italian-American singers like Mario Lanza, Dean Martin, Al Martino, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett in his father's pizzeria, and soon fell in love with the music of the 1950s and '60s. He won local singing competitions at an early age and, at 17, performed for Pope John Paul II. In 1999 Buanne returned to Italy, where he enrolled at a university in Rome and worked as a television entertainer. Four years later he met producer Christian Seitz, and the two of them went to the Abbey Road studios in London to record Buanne's debut album, L'Italiano, mainly a cover album of the songs he grew up with, which came out in the U.K. in February 2005. In March 2006, The Italian, a slightly abbreviated version of its British counterpart, was issued in the U.S., followed by a worldwide release of the singer's sophomore record, Forever Begins Tonight, in the fall of that same year. ~ Marisa Brown
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