Cristina D'Avena

Cristina D’Avena was born in Bologna on Monday, July 6, 1964 to Alfredo, a doctor, and Ornella, a housewife. At the age of 3 and a half she made her debut singing “Il valzer del moscerino” at the tenth edition of the Zecchino d’Oro children’s singing festival; The song won 3rd place. After his experience at the Zecchino d’Oro, he remained at the Antoniano as a member of the Piccolo Coro until 1976, but continued to attend it for another 5 years accompanying his sister Clarissa, who was born 10 years after her and who also became a member of the choir in the meantime.

In 1981 Cristina is a seventeen-year-old student at Liceo Classico who sees singing only as a hobby. At that time, Alessandra Valeri Manera, the then head of children’s TV at the newborn Canale 5, was looking for a female voice who could interpret the theme song of the Japanese animated series “Pinocchio”: for this reason she approached Augusto Martelli, artistic and musical director of the network as well as son of the maestro Giordano Bruno Martelli. It was Martelli the father, through his son, who pointed out to Valeri Manera the name of Cristina D’Avena, having had the opportunity to attend her until recently at the Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano. After being subjected to a record audition, Cristina, still a minor, signed an exclusive contract with the Canale 5 record label, Five Record (later renamed RTI Music, now incorporated into RTI S.p.A.), and thus became the interpreter of the song “Bambino Pinocchio” composed by Martelli son Martelli who said of her at the time: «She will become a great singer». The commercial success of its 45 rpm actually started Cristina’s career: since then she has never stopped recording and, thanks to the amount of theme songs she recorded, she is the only character in the show whose voice has been present on Italian TV uninterruptedly since the early 80s at least once a day, 7 days a week,  365 days a year.

Also from this period he began to publish numerous singles and albums, which together would sell a total of over 7 million copies: in 1983, in fact, Five Record gave life to “Fivelandia”, the first volume of what would become a long-lived series intended to contain the theme songs of the cartoons broadcast on the networks of the snake; an annual autumn fixture, to which will be added, starting from February 1987, its spring version, also on an annual basis, entitled “Cristina D’Avena with your friends on TV”. Among the most successful songs of the early years, special mention for “Song of the Smurfs” of 1982 (thanks to which she will be awarded with her first Gold Record for over 500,000 copies sold) and “Kiss me Licia” of 1985 (Platinum Disc for over 100,000 copies sold of the related album): the latter is the theme song to which the singer will declare several times to be most attached.

Starting from September 1986, however, she reached a further popularity than that already acquired in 5 years with the sole interpretation of the theme songs, as well as considerable visibility, when she played the role of Licia in the first of 4 series of children’s telefilms entitled “Love me Licia”: the series is based on the protagonist and characters of the Japanese cartoon “Kiss me Licia” (which had made its debut 12 months earlier),  of which this Italian production with flesh-and-blood actors ideally continues the events. This is how what until now was almost just a voice (that particular timbre that millions of Italian children had already learned to recognize) becomes in fact a face, the face of a girl looking younger than her 22 years that the entire public, even the older one, now already knows and appreciates. “Love me Licia” was followed by “Licia dolce Licia” in spring 1987, “Teneramente Licia” in autumn 1987 and “Balliamo e cantiamo con Licia” in spring 1988; the series are broadcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 20:00 on Italia Uno in direct competition with the Rai news and reach unexpected record ratings.

In 1987, while the songs she recorded already amounted to a hundred, Cristina recorded a song in French: it is the French-speaking version of the Italian theme song “Lovely Sara” (which she had already performed a few months before), intended to accompany the airing of “Princesse Sarah” which will be the first cartoon to be broadcast on La Cinq,  French television network owned by Silvio Berlusconi built on the model of Canale 5. Thanks to this recording, the singer, who for the first time saw her name appear on the cover of a record published and distributed exclusively abroad, is still known and remembered today by French children of the 80s.

After the end of Licia’s saga in the spring of 1988, Italia Uno decided to stage Cristina and her daily reality, constantly engaged between her university studies at the Faculty of Medicine and the

work as a singer. It is no coincidence that, during the last episode of Licia’s TV series, Cristina D’Avena appears in the role of herself announcing her intention to start a musical band. A few months later, “Arriva Cristina” was broadcast on Italia Uno, followed by “Cristina” in autumn 1989, “Cri Cri” in autumn 1990 and “Cristina, l’Europa siamo noi” in autumn 1991. “Cri Cri” consists of two series of 36 episodes each, while “Cristina, l’Europa siamo noi” is broadcast by Retequattro instead of Italia Uno and at 19:00 instead of the usual time of 20:00. As already happened for the 4 series of Licia, for each of these series Five Record publishes a disc containing the theme song and all the songs sung within the episodes: the first three albums become Platinum Records.

Among his most successful concerts were those held in November 1989 and 1990 at the PalaTrussardi in Milan, which were attended by a total of about 20,000 spectators, and that of 1992 at the FilaForum in Assago (13,000 people in the hall and 3,000 outside) whose proceeds were entirely donated to the Italian Association for Cancer Research.

With the same author-producer of the beginning behind her and a record company that, thanks only to her songs, in 1991 obtained a turnover of over 9 billion lire, in the 90s the singer continued, regularly and without interruption, to record new theme songs and to publish CDs; Numbers, hers, that many noble artists, even today, envy her. Even the singer Mina, in 1994, will record and include in one of her albums a cover of a song by Cristina from 1988 entitled “Sempre attentive to the regulation”; for the occasion, the lyrics and title were changed and the song became “Tu dimmi che città”.

In addition to her musical and recording activity, she worked as a television presenter and co-host (as well as radio) that began in 1989 with the Saturday night variety show on Canale 5 “Saturday at the circus”, an experience thanks to which Cristina, together with the entire cast of the program, won the Telegatto in the “Children’s Programs” category. The program went on for four years, until 1992, when it changed its title, network and programming day and became “The Great Circus of Retequattro”, on air for 16 weeks from Wednesday 7 October. Together with Gerry Scotti, he presented for two years the New Year’s Eve special of Canale 5, broadcast on 31 December 1989 with the title “L’allegria fa 90” and on 31 December 1990 with the title “Evviva l’allegria”. Since 8 November 1992 he has hosted “Cantiamo con Cristina” on Italia Uno, the children’s version of Fiorello’s “Karaoke” which airs at 20:00 on Sundays: in each episode two teams face each other who challenge each other on the notes of Cristina’s theme songs. In the 1993/94 season she will be part of the cast of the sixth edition of “Buona Domenica”, alongside Gerry Scotti and Gabriella Carlucci: here, among other things, she conducts the column “Radio Cristina” where she comments on letters and faxes sent by children and performs some musical and dance numbers (in these spaces she will also have the opportunity to perform the songs of the album “Cristina canta Disney” recently published). She will then have the role of special correspondent around Italy in the fifth edition of “Do you know the last?”, broadcast on Canale 5 in the 1995/96 television season and conducted by Gerry Scotti together with Paola Barale. Starting from 15 September 1996, however, he conducted for two years in a row, alternating weekly with the voice actor and friend Pietro Ubaldi, the container of cartoons and telephone games “Game Boat”, broadcast every day in the early evening of Retequattro; in this period, among other things, the fourteenth chapter of “Fivelandia” was published, awarded with the Platinum Disc for over 100,000 copies sold. In 1998, 1999 and 2000 she returned to the Zecchino d’Oro as co-host alongside Cino Tortorella and Milly Carlucci. In the autumn of 1998 she was called by Fabio Fazio to host with Andrea Pezzi the Friday night variety show on Rai Due “Serenate”, conceived by Fazio himself who was initially supposed to be the host. On Rai Uno, on the other hand, she will conduct the traditional “Spring Concert”, both in April 1999 and April 2000, as well as the Christmas special “Merry Christmas to the whole world” of which she will be the presenter both in the 1999 and 2000 editions.

In 1998 she also made her film debut, albeit with a cameo: in fact, she played herself in a scene of the film “Cucciolo” by Neri Parenti alongside Massimo Boldi, with whom she had already worked at the time of “Saturday at the Circus”.

In December 2002 Cristina officially celebrates 20 years of career with the release of a double CD entitled “Cristina D’Avena: Greatest Hits”, which collects the singer’s greatest hits (CD 1 is related to the years 1981-1990, CD 2 to the years 1991-2002) and includes a new version, rearranged and reinterpreted for the occasion, of her first theme song. On the day of the album’s release, December 6th, from the auditorium of Cologno Monzese, the satellite television network Video Italia dedicates to her, in prime time and live at the same time on Radio Italia, an episode of over 2 hours of its broadcast “Evening with…”, during which the singer performs live most of the songs of the album, in what turns out to be a real party-concert in which historical fans take part,  long-time friends and collaborators.

Her name for over 20 years has been professionally inextricably associated with that of Alessandra Valeri Manera: head of children’s programs of the biscione TV from 1980 to 2001 and on balance talent scout and creator of the character “Cristina D’Avena”, Valeri Manera was also the creator, author, artistic director and producer of all the works of the singer to whom she is linked by a sincere friendship,  although since 2001 his activity has been reduced to an occasional composition of the texts of theme songs. In 2002 Cristina signed for the first time as an author her own song entitled “I colori del cuore” (The colors of the heart). In 2007 she signed the lyrics of one of her theme songs for a cartoon (the title of the song, and of the series, is “Dolce piccola Remì”) and since then, from time to time, some of the theme songs she interprets bear her name as the sole author of the words.

On April 14, 2007, at the Roxy Bar in Bologna, Cristina celebrated 25 years of success with a great concert, accompanied by the irreverent group Gem Boy with whom she inaugurated a collaboration that still lasts today. On this occasion, he received the prestigious “Gandhi 9.11” award from Red Ronnie, a luminous totem created by the artist Marco Lodola and intended for those characters who have most distinguished themselves as bearers of peace. In the same year, then, there was a real record for the singer: at the sum of 1,210 euros, the online auction of the 1989 CD “Cristina D’Avena e… i tuoi amici in TV 3”, sold on the eBay portal on September 10, closed. The sale is announced and defined by the Italian division of the site as “the record ever achieved online by a CD in Italy”; it is no coincidence that the CD version of the album is considered one of the rarest pieces in the singer’s record production, not so much for the 14 theme songs contained in it (which can be found on other subsequent publications) but because, in its digital version, it was printed in a very limited number of copies compared to the classic formats used at the time (although for a few more years),  namely the LP and the MC. The record was even broken on November 10, 2011, four years later, when another auctioned copy was sold for €3,010.00.

In this phase of her career, the singer continues to be seen by the television audience, accepting the invitation of numerous Rai or Mediaset broadcasts that call her to interview her or to see her perform; in the episode of February 16, 2008 of the prime time program of Rai Uno “I Migliori Anni” there will be a peak of ratings equal to 7,618,000 viewers just at the moment of his participation in the program in which he sings live the theme song of “Kiss me Licia”. In the same year she publishes two children’s books for the publishing house Giunti, of which the singer is the author and narrator, entitled “Le fiabe di Fata Cri: Fata Cri e i draghetti pasticcioni” and “Le fiabe di Fata Cri: Fata Cri e il ballo degli scoiattoli”: the latter will sell 37,500 copies.

After writing and performing the theme song of the animated series “Twin Princess” which will become her first single to be marketed as a digital download, in 2009 she released an album that detaches herself from the TV theme songs for which she has always been known: for the first time in fact she addresses the general public, not only that of children,  and he does so with an album entitled “Magia di Natale”, in which he reinterprets 12 songs of the Christmas tradition, classic and modern, all arranged by the maestro Valeriano Chiaravalle. The album is also an opportunity for the singer to record for the first time in English. The album also features a cover of “Childhood”, a song by Michael Jackson with which the artist wanted to pay homage to the King of Pop.

From Thursday 21 January 2010 he returns to work on TV: he is in the cast of the second edition of the prime time program of Italia Uno “Matricole & Meteore”. In the show, consisting of 8 episodes and hosted by Nicola Savino and Juliana Moreira, she has the dual role of regular guest and special correspondent in the role of a princess in search of Prince Charming; In the various episodes he also performs some medleys of theme songs among the many recorded during his career. Since 28 February of the same year he has been the testimonial of Intervita ONLUS, an international humanitarian organization engaged in development projects in the Third World through long-distance support, for which he will record 15 promotional messages broadcast by Canale 5. Starting from the autumn period, the series of telefilms that saw her as the protagonist between ’86 and ’91 regain visibility as well as renewed fortune thanks to their revival by the Hiro channel of Mediaset Premium and, a short time later, also by the hand of La5 which broadcasts them, every evening, at the same time as the first broadcast,  i.e. at 8 p.m. Given the great success (the time slot in which they are broadcast is the most followed for the network), the singer’s record company decides to reissue, for the first time on CD and after more than two decades of absence from the record market, the soundtracks of each of the 8 series, collecting them in two multidisc boxes entitled “Licia and the Bee Hive Story” and “Arriva Cristina Story”,  that enthusiasts old and new will welcome with extraordinary enthusiasm.

Even in the new millennium the singer has continued and continues to hold concerts throughout Italy, both alone and accompanied by the group Gem Boy; one of his last most successful concerts was certainly the one held in Avellino in May 2010 where, between children and adults, it gathered over 15,000 spectators.

In January 2011 she recorded a theme song for the first time in duet with a female voice: that of Alessia Volpicelli, a young patient of the C.R.O. (Oncology Reference Center) in Aviano; the song, of which D’Avena is also the author, is entitled “Emily of the New Moon”. In the same period he also wrote the lyrics of a song for one of the contestants of the television program “Io Canto”: it is the song “Tutto cosa che ho” included in Simone Frulio’s debut album entitled “Tredici”.

The following year the singer returned to TV and landed on Super!: throughout the summer she was in fact the presenter of “Karaoke Super Show!”, the first production of the children’s television channel published by De Agostini. Broadcast on the weekend from the most beautiful squares of the Romagna Riviera, the program includes the participation of two teams made up of children, parents and grandparents who challenge each other by interpreting the great summer hits, the most loved Zecchino d’Oro songs and of course the most famous theme songs of Cristina’s cartoons. But 2012 is also the year of the 30th anniversary of Cristina D’Avena’s artistic debut: to celebrate this anniversary, a series of celebrations are put in place starting from December 2011, when the official fanclub of the singer that admirers have been insistently asking for a long time opens. In April 2012 the celebrations continue with the inauguration of her online store, where you can find a large part of her increasingly abundant record production as well as many exclusive products and gadgets, chosen and designed directly by Cristina herself. The celebrations of this important milestone also materialize at the recording level

with the birth of a great two-part project entitled “30 e poi…”, which debuted in record stores on November 27, 2012 with the release of the triple CD “30 e poi… Part One”. The album consists of 3 CDs that contain a total of 70 original theme songs of the most famous cartoons of the 80s, 90s and 2000s; the setlist is embellished by the presence of three unreleased theme songs (one dating back to ’95, one to ’99 and another to 2009) published here for the first time ever and one now available for the first time on CD, by a reinterpretation by Cristina of the Christmas classic “O Holy Night”, by a megamix of her historic 80s hits and finally by a cover of the song “L’anno che verrà” by Lucio Dalla,  with which the artist wants to pay homage to the singer-songwriter his fellow citizen. The project “30 and then…” It then continued in 2013 with a series of themed initiatives and ended in the autumn of the same year with the release of “30 and then… Part Two”, a box consisting of a DVD, a CD and a Photo Book. The first collects for the first time 50 of the most beautiful TV movies of the 80s and 90s in which Cristina performs presenting the theme songs of the most famous cartoons, and includes the video theme songs of all her TV series, for a total of over 3 hours of footage. The CD, entitled “Unreleased, B-sides and Rarities” and not available elsewhere, contains 20 theme songs and rare songs, researched and never released on CD – if not, in some cases, totally unpublished. The product is further enhanced by the presence of an exclusive 40-page Photo Book, full of high-quality archive photos, historical but also rare or even never-before-seen shots. On 9 September, the singer also returns to Super!, where every morning from Monday to Friday at 09:00 she hosts “Radio Crock’n’Dolls”, the network’s first preschool production that inaugurates a programming slot dedicated to children who do not yet attend school, and of course to their mothers. Together with the puppet Ciuffetto, taking inspiration from a famous song, it tells a feeling, an emotion or even a concrete aspect of the daily life of young viewers. Of course, there is no shortage of successes from the Queen of Theme Songs: in each episode, in fact, Cristina performs one of her historic songs, to the delight of young and old fans.

Even in the new millennium the singer has continued and continues to give concerts throughout Italy, both alone and accompanied by the group Gem Boy; in November 2013, in Lucca, Cristina D’Avena’s musical show gathered, including children and adults, over 15,000 spectators. The artist will also record numerous sold-outs in the most important live music clubs in Italy, including the Alcatraz in Milan.

In the summer of 2014 she was godmother and presenter of the singing competition for children aged 6 to 16 “FestivalMar”, for which she wrote and performed the theme song of the same name. The publication of this acronym also marked the birth of his personal record label, Crioma Music.

In November of the same year he released the album “Magia di Natale (Deluxe Edition)” for RTI S.p.A., a re-edition of the album of the same name already released in 2009, enriched by three new unreleased tracks.

On March 24, 2015, the maxi-collection Cristina D’Avena e i tuoi amici in TV Collection was published in digital download containing 100 songs, 32 of which are unreleased for distribution in digital version, taken from the record series Cristina D’Avena e i tuoi amici in TV, born in 1987 and ended in 2008. On the following 30 June, using the same selection criteria, the maxi-collection Fivelandia Story was published, containing another 100 songs, this time taken from the long-lived Fivelandia record series.

In April of the same year, lending her voice to Beatrice the bird, Cristina D’Avena was among the Italian voice actors of the animated miniseries Over the Garden Wall (first broadcast on Cartoon Network and, later, on Boing).

On August 3, 2015, the release of the collectible picture disc vinyl “Cristina D’Avena” was announced, on sale starting from November. On the same day, the artist opened his official Twitter profile, attracting thousands of followers in a very short time.

On October 29, 2015 Cristina performed at Lucca Comics accompanied for the first time by an orchestra of 12 musicians and a choir of 80 elements, giving life to a unique and exciting show entitled “Simply Cristina”, which retraces the most important stages of her long career in music. From this show will come a tour, which is still in progress.

 On November 13, 2015 the single “Il segreto (Per Mariele)” was released, sung together with the choir Le Verdi Note dell’Antoniano and the Piccolo Coro “Mariele Ventre” dell’Antoniano, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the death of Mariele Ventre, founder of the Piccolo Coro and Cristina’s singing teacher throughout her childhood. An official video clip of the single was also made, the first for a song by D’Avena.

In February 2016 Cristina participated for the first time as a super guest at the 66th Sanremo Festival, where she was consecrated by Carlo Conti as the undisputed queen of cartoon theme songs.

On July 22nd, debuting at third place in the ranking of the best-selling albums in Italy, the double CD #le the most beautiful theme songs was released, containing the unreleased songs Jim l’astroverme and La magia che fa volare. The singer, since September 22, is in the cast of the eighteenth edition of the television program Colorado, broadcast in prime time on Italia 1. The artist is later the narrator of the animated film Thomas the Train, in cinemas from 8 October.

On March 7, 2017, the move of Cristina D’Avena to Warner Music Italy was officially announced. For the singer this is the first change of record company in 35 years of career, spent under contract with RTI Music.

On March 16, she publishes on her Facebook profile the song Noi Puffi siam così which will accompany the film The Smurfs – Journey to the Secret Forest, in which she also dubs the character of Mirtilla. The following May he released the single L’estate migliore che c’è, used as the theme song on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Padova Pride Village.

On June 22, 2017 Cristina D’Avena is the guest of honor of the opening night of the Summer Festival, singing a medley of some of her hits and the single L’estate migliore che c’è.

On November 10, 2017, the singer’s new album was released on the Warner Music Italy label. The album, entitled Duets – Tutti cantano Cristina, contains her hits rearranged and recorded in duet with 16 big names of Italian music, and takes her to the top of the best-selling albums chart, winning a gold record for over 25 thousand copies sold after 3 weeks of release and obtaining platinum on January 2, 2018 for selling more than 50 thousand. Thanks to this success, Cristina D’Avena becomes the only woman in the Top 20 of the best-selling albums in Italy in 2017.

On February 16, 2018, D’Avena returns to TV as a juror in the first edition of Sanremo Young, a teen talent show hosted by Antonella Clerici in prime time on Rai 1.

On November 23, 2018 he released his latest album Duets Forever – Tutti cantano Cristina, containing another 16 duets with as many big names in Italian music, which was certified gold on February 11, 2019.

On February 8, 2019 he was a guest on the fourth evening of the 69th edition of the Sanremo Festival as a duet with Shade and Federica Carta in Senza farlo apposta, the version of which is made available from April 19 on all platforms.

On March 8, 2019, a new song entitled Centouno Dalmation Street was released. The song is the artist’s first theme song for a Disney animated series.

In the same year, the artist was contacted by Netflix to record an Italian version of the song My Life Is Going On, the theme song of the television series La casa di carta, for a promotional video with the characters of the series in a cartoon version. At the end of the video, the singer makes a brief cameo in the red jumpsuit from the series and the Dali mask.

In June 2019 Cristina was awarded at the prestigious Seat Music Awards, broadcast on Rai 1 from the Arena di Verona, for the sales of the album “Duets Forever”.

At the end of 2019, together with J-Ax, she participated in the Italian promotional launch and dubbing of the film “Playmobil – The Movie”, lending her voice to the character Fairy Godmother, of which she also interpreted the song “Cavalca il vento”.

On December 23, 2019, “Captain Tsubasa”, a remake of the famous 80s cartoon “Holly and Benji”, arrives on the screens of Italia 1. Cristina interprets the Italian theme song entitled “Tutta d’un fiato (fino al fischio finale)” of which she is also the author and composer together with Federico Mercuri, Giordano Cremona and Jacopo Ettorre.

In May 2020, Cristina collaborates with the Italian Stars 4 Life project in support of the Italian Red Cross: on May 8th the single Ma il cielo è sempre blu sung with over 50 Italian music artists is released.

The following month he announced a collaboration with DJ Matrix and Amedeo Preziosi and on June 5th he released “Faccio la brava“, a single from the album Musica da Giostra – Volume 7 by the same DJ.

On December 14, 2020, “The Magic Compass”, an audio series exclusively for Audible, is released.

On 23 and 24 December 2020 Cristina hosts the two Zecchino D’Oro specials “L’attesa” and “Lo Zecchino di Natale” broadcast on Raiuno.

On 28 December he performed a one-hour acoustic concert live on RTL 102.5. Following the success of the evening, starting from 9 January 2021 the singer becomes one of the presenters of the program Chi c’è c’è, chi non c’è non parla broadcast every Saturday morning always on radio vision on RTL 102.5.

At the end of this experience, he switched to R101 and from 14 April he was part of the cast of Fernando Proce’s Procediamo  program.

On June 9, 2021, D’Avena surprisingly released the EP Nel cuore solo il calcio on digital platforms on the occasion of the 2020 European Football Championship, postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few hours after its release, the EP reached the top of the iTunes and Amazon charts.

In February 2022 he participated in the third edition of Il cantante mascherato, hosted by Milly Carlucci on Rai 1 first as a contestant and then, after elimination, as a guest. On 10 March he published the book The Garden of Fairy Tales. Since 8 April 2022 she has been a correspondent for the third edition of the Big Show variety show variety show hosted by Enrico Papi and Scintilla.

In August 2022 Cristina performed with the Sanremo Symphony Orchestra in a prestigious acoustic concert in the city of the Italian Song Festival.

On the occasion of his forty-year career, on November 25 he released a compilation entitled 40 – Il sogno continua which includes the original versions of his theme songs, unreleased singles and six new duets including Elettra Lamborghini, Lorella Cuccarini, Orietta Berti and Cristiano Malgioglio.

On April 14, 2023, “I’ll Look for You (Genshin Impact)” is released, a single dedicated to “Genshin Impact”, one of the most famous video games in the world. The lyrics of the song are written by Cristina herself and the music by the composer Cristiano Macrì.