There is heartbreak amongst Italians and Eurovision fans alike as Eurovision 1990 winner Toto Cutugno has passed away at the age of 80. Cutugno triumphed for Italy in Zagreb with his song “Insieme: 1992”.
Toto Cutugno and the Contest
Toto Cutugno passed away on August 22nd, 2023 at San Raffaele hospital in Milan, following “a long illness”. Manager Danilo Mancuso broke the news, saying that the Italian winner had died at 4pm – adding that the illness Toto had had worsened in recent months.
Cutugno first hit the Italian music scene back in 1983 with his song “L’Italiano”, which gained him instant fame. After this initial fame, Toto went on to have a stellar musical career, being a prominent face throughout the end of the 20th century. His commercial success led to his appearance at the Sanremo Music Festival, where he finished second and accepted the opportunity to represent Italy at Eurovision in Zagreb in then-Yugoslavia.
Singing “Insieme: 1992” – a ballad celebrating European integration in the wake of the fall of communism, Italy stormed the competition, finishing with 149 points – 17 points clear of second-placed Ireland. This gave Italy its second ever win in the competition, and its first since 1964.
After this, Toto continued to be involved in the Eurovision family, going on to host the Contest in 1991. His appearance generated controversy and criticism due to his lack of proficient English, but he remained a staple of the show. Following this, Toto continued his musical career, carrying on performances up to 2020.
“A true Italian” – the world pays tribute to Toto Cutugno
Following the announcement of his death, fellow Italian music titans have paid tribute to Toto. Italian representative in 1970 Gianni Morandi paid tribute to Cutugno, saying in an Instagram post:
Toto Cutugno, un italiano vero, se n’è andato… Autore e interprete della grande tradizione italiana.
Ha scritto una delle canzoni italiane più famose del mondo, L’ITALIANO. Ci conoscevamo da sempre.
Ciao Toto, la tua musica sale in cielo.
Toto Cutugno, a true Italian is gone… Author and interpreter of the great Italian tradition.Gianni Morandi, Eurovision 1970 representative
He wrote one of the most famous Italian songs in the world, L’ITALIANO. We’ve known each other forever.
Bye Toto, your music goes to heaven.
The team at ‘That Eurovision Site’ wants to pay tribute to Toto Cutugno and offer their condolences to Toto’s family and friends at this devastating time.
How has Toto’s passing affected you? What were your favourite moments of Toto’s career? As always, let us know how you feel by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok as we reflect on Toto’s passing.
News Source: RAI
Photo Credit: iMusicFun.it