Gaetano D’Angelo, more affectionately known as Nino, was born into a working-class family in San Pietro a Patierno, a suburb of Naples, on June 21, 1957. The first of six children, Nino was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by passionate music of his beloved homeland. His maternal grandfather, a great admirer of Neapolitan music, encouraged him to sing his first songs on his knees. Even when his peers were influenced by modern groups, Nino was devoted to the music of his culture and its legendary performers, such as Sergio Bruni, Mario Abbate and Mario Merola.
During an amateur show in San Benedetto a Casoria, Father Raphael, a Capuchin friar, discovers him and encourages him to pursue his dream of singing. In a short time he becomes a sought-after artist, participating in all the festivals of new voices in the city and in the province. His talent earned him a place in the Galleria Umberto I in Naples, a center for small entrepreneurs who organized weddings and street parties. His passion for singing was undeniable and he was determined to make it big.
In 1976, with the help of a family collection, he managed to raise the sum necessary to record his first 45, entitled “A storia mia” (‘O snatching). She personally spread the news through a door-to-door sales system, and the response was overwhelming! This inspired him to create a screenplay with the same title, followed by others such as “L’onore”, “E figli d’a carità”, “L’ultimo Natale ‘e papa mio” and “A parturente”. His passion and dedication to the craft has really paid off!
In the early 1980s, Nino D’Angelo’s dream of making it to the big screen finally came true! His debut film, “Celebrity,” was just a preview of what was to come next. With the films “The pupil”, “Ave Maria”, “Betrayal and oath”, his success is undeniable!
In 1981, Nino D’Angelo created a masterpiece with “Nu jeans and a shirt”, becoming a much loved figure by the people of Neapolitan song. After the film of the same name, his fame skyrocketed and his golden helmet became the symbol of all the boys of the South.
In 1986 he made his debut at the Sanremo Music Festival with the passionate song “Vai”, followed by an incredible series of film interpretations in “La disco”, “A street urchin in New York”, “Popcorn and chips”, “The admirer” , “Fotonovel”, “That boy from curve B”, “The girl on the metro” and “I swear I love you”. The 90s
In 1991, the disappearance of his parents left him in a state of deep despair and he was looking for a change. Much to the dismay of his devoted fans, he cuts his golden hair and embarks on a new musical path, no longer centered only on romance, but also on the realities of life.
With the release of “And Life Goes On,” “Good Boy” and the critically acclaimed “Tiempo,” even the most discerning critics begin to take notice of his artistry and the depth of his lyrics.
The meeting with the famous critic Goffredo Fofi and with the emerging director Roberta Torre, determined to tell the story of the artist and the man D’Angelo, takes place through the short film “La vita a volo d’angelo”, presented at the Venice Film Festival with great success. The following year, Torre offered D’Angelo the opportunity to create the soundtrack for his feature film “Tano da morto”, unleashing a cascade of awards, including the David di Donatello, the Golden Globe, the Ciak and the Silver Ribbon, which consolidated D’Angelo’s artistic maturity.
He was enraptured by the encounter with Mimmo Palladino, one of the best-known contemporary artists, who created an incredible large-scale work, “the mountain of salt”, in Piazza del Plebiscito, and chose it as the symbol of a city that yearns to ransom.
On the magnificent New Year’s Eve, Nino met the then mayor of Naples, Antonio Bassolino, who was fascinated by the extraordinary bond that united the former blond bob to his people. He opened the Mercadante for him, the most renowned theater in the city. Thus it was that the first “Crazy Core” came to life, directed by Laura Angiuli.
The mayor of Naples offers him the chance to celebrate his 40th birthday in Piazza del Plebiscito, but he passionately refuses and chooses to celebrate in Scampia, where his people and his beloved Naples live. This is also an opportunity to present his new album, “A nu pass ‘d’a città”. It is an artistic turning point, the most complex so far, a daring somersault without a net in the name of the union between the Neapolitan song and a certain type of world music. Gone are the days of “Nu jeans and a shirt”; D’Angelo discovers an authorial vein that allows him to passionately combine popular melody with sounds bordering on jazz and ethnic music.
In 1998, paired with Piero Chiambretti, he leads the “Dopo Festival” of Sanremo and the following year he returns, this time as a singer, with the song “Without jacket and tie”. The cinema soon discovered him as an actor and offered him the opportunity to play leading roles in “Paparazzi”, “Vacanze di Natale 2000” and “Tifosi”, where he had the opportunity to work alongside another symbol of the history of Naples Diego Armando Maradona.
Nino D’Angelo in the 2000s
In June 2000 he passionately shoots “Aitanic”, a parody of the iconic Titanic, which allows him to make his directorial debut. He then tries his hand at the theater with operas, starting with “Ultimo scugnizzo” by Raffaele Viviani, which receives great enthusiasm from the public and critics. His performance earned him the Gassman Award.
In the autumn of 2001 he presented his sensational new album, “Terra Nera” to the world, which immediately became a great success!
With immense enthusiasm he took part in the Sanremo Festival in March 2002, performing the song “Marì” taken from the compilation album “La Festa”, published to commemorate his 25-year career.
In April 2002, Pupi Avati invited him to act in his latest work, “The heart elsewhere”, and the interpretation earned him the prestigious Flaiano Prize. In the summer of the same year he was awarded the “Fregene per Fellini” prize for the soundtrack of the film “Aitanic”. In 2003 he returned to the 53rd Sanremo Festival, delighting the audience with the new song “‘A storia ‘e nisciuno” and finishing third in the critics’ prize. At the same time “’O Schiavo e ‘O rre” is released, an unpublished album with the same single. But the real success of this work was “O’ pate”.
From the eleventh month of 2003 to the third month of 2004, he returned to the theater with a bang, starring in the magnificent comedy “Guappo di cartone” by Raffaele Viviani. To everyone’s surprise, she also topped the music charts in Moldova and Romania with her amazing song “No suit and tie”.
Excited, in October 2004, Nino leaves for an incredible tour through the United States and Canada, in response to numerous requests from abroad. On February 4, 2005, Nino D’Angelo presents his new album at the Museo della Canzone Napoletana, preceded by a surprising announcement in which the artist declares that this could be his last unreleased work. Entitled “Il ragù con la guerra”, this album aims to be the culminating chapter of the extraordinary journey that began with the release of “A nu pass’ d’ ‘a città”.
In the wake of the success of his latest CD, Canale 5 offered Nino the incredible opportunity to host a prime-time program inspired by his career – “I never asked you anything” – at the sports hall of his hometown, Casoria. Nino will perform some of his greatest hits, dueting with friends Giancarlo Giannini, Massimo Ranieri and Sebastiano Somma: an event not to be missed!
Drawing on his incredible theatrical baggage, Nino has decided to revive his beloved “Crazy Core”. The show debuted in December at the Teatro Augusteo in Naples and immediately earned a huge amount of admiration and accolades. With this show, Nino is giving young Neapolitan neomelodic singers the chance to shine and tell their own stories through music and his poetry. “Core crazy” overflows with strong emotions and important social messages that the Campania Region, led by President Antonio Bassolino, has chosen to promote as an educational event in schools.
Nino D’angelo returns to the Sanremo Festival (2010), passionately singing his heart out with a song in Neapolitan, entitled “Jammo jà”. To commemorate his thirty-five years of career, a new compilation titled Jammo jà is out, which will not fail to give emotions!
On 4 December 2011 the single “Italia bella” was released, passionate and captivating, which anticipates the release of the album “Tra terra e stelle” at the dawn of the new year. An exciting tour in theaters follows with the show “Once upon a time there were jeans and a T-shirt”, which is repeated until 2013.
On 21 October 2013, the Teatro Real San Carlo in Naples opened its doors awaiting the passionate tribute of Nino D’angelo to Sergio Bruni, honoring him with an event entitled “Memento/Momento per Sergio Bruni”, ten years after the his disappearance.
In November 2014 he enthusiastically embarked on the “Nino D’Angelo Concerto Anni 80 … and beyond” tour. With great enthusiasm he returned to Sanremo in 2019, joining forces with Livio Cori to perform the song “Un’altra luce”.