Caterina Valente

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Caterina Valente
Caterina Valente 1966.jpg
Valente in 1966
Background information
Born (1931-01-14) 14 January 1931 (age 87)
Paris, France
Occupation(s)Singer, guitarist, dancer, actress
Years active1953–2003

Caterina Valente (born 14 January 1931 in Paris, France) is a French-born Italian multilingual singer, guitarist, dancer, and actress. Valente is a polyglot; she speaks six languages, and sings in eleven. While she is best-known as an international performer, Valente also spent part of her career in the United States, where she performed alongside Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Perry Como, and Ella Fitzgerald, among others.


In 1953, she made her first recordings with Kurt Edelhagen. Soon afterwards she achieved success with songs such as "Malagueña", "The Breeze and I" (a global million-seller),[1] and "Dreh dich nicht um" with the Werner Müller orchestra.

In 1955, she was featured on The Colgate Comedy Hour with Gordon MacRae. In 1958, she filmed the musical comedy Hier bin ich – hier bleib ich (Here I Am, Here I Stay) which featured a guest appearance by Bill Haley & His Comets. During Haley's segment, Valente sings a duet with Haley on a newly recorded version of his song "Vive la Rock and Roll".[2]

In the mid 1960s, Valente worked with Claus Ogerman and recorded material in both Italian and English that he arranged/conducted and/or composed on the Decca [3] and London [4] labels. Valente was a favorite of singer Perry Como, making eight guest appearances on his NBC Kraft Music Hall television program from 1961-66. Between 1966-72, she was a frequent guest on The Dean Martin Show.[citation needed]

In Germany, she was a major performer of Schlager music. There, she recorded Cole Porter's I Love Paris under the German title Ganz Paris träumt von der Liebe, which sold more than 900,000 copies in 1954.[citation needed]

Over the years, she has recorded or performed with many international stars, including Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Claus Ogerman, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Sy Oliver, Buddy Rich and Edmundo Ros.[citation needed]

In 1959, she was nominated for a Grammy Award. Valente was a principal on the CBS variety series The Entertainers (1964–65). A briglia sciolta, the Italian jazz CD recorded in 1989 and re-released in later years under the titles Fantastica and Platinum deluxe, was her best-selling CD worldwide. In 2001, she released a new album, Girltalk, with harpist Catherine Michel.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Valente was born an Italian citizen. Having been born and grown up in France she is now a French citizen. During her marriage to her first husband she held a German passport. She is of Italian ancestry. One of four children, she was born into a musical family; her father, Giuseppe, was an accordion player, and her mother, Maria, was a musical comedienne.

In 1952, she married German juggler Erik van Aro. He recognized her talent and accompanied her in her initial years of worldwide success. They later divorced. Their son is singer Eric van Aro.

In 1972, she married British pianist Roy Budd. They had a son, Alexander, before divorcing in 1979.

A polyglot, Valente speaks six languages (French, Italian, German, English, Spanish and Swedish), in all of which she can also sing. In addition, she is capable of singing in Dutch, Portuguese, Hebrew, Greek and Japanese.

Valente is a longtime resident of Lugano, Switzerland.

Selected album discography[edit]

United States[edit]



  • Caterina Cherie, Polydor 46310


  • Una Cita Con Caterina Valente (A Date With Caterina Valente), Polydor 24011, 10 inch LP
  • Olé, Caterina!, (Polydor 25019)
  • Un Brindis para las Muchachas, (Polydor 25048)
  • Bueno... Clásico... y Popular! (Classics with a Chaser), (RCA Victor LPM-2119)
  • Classics with a Chaser, (RCA Victor LPM-2119)


  • Cosmopolitan Lady, (Polydor 46065)
  • A Toast To The Girls, (Polydor 46074)

United Kingdom[edit]


  • I Happen to Like New York, World Record Club S/4384, 196?
  • Great Continental Hits, World Record Club, 196?
  • The Best of Caterina Valente, SUMMIT Karussell SRA 250-548 (on the cover)/2430 032 (on the label)



South Africa[edit]

Selected filmography[edit]


(Incomplete list)

  • 1961 Bravo Otto, „Female singers“ Gold (also 1960, 1962 and 1963 in Silver)
  • 1964 "Europremio" European TV Award, Venice, Italy
  • 1965 „O Globo“ Award for Best Foreign Singer of Latin American music, Brazil
  • 1965 "FAME Award", USA
  • 1968 Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse ("1st Class Cross of Merit"), Germany
  • 1972 "Officier de l'éducation artistique" Officer of Artistic Education, Paris, France
  • 1986 „Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland“ Grand Cross of Merit, Germany
  • 1966 Goldene Kamera, Germany
  • 1990 Bambi, Germany
  • 1991 Goldene Europa „Lifetime-Award“, Saarbrücken, Germany
  • 1995 Bambi „Lifetime-Award“, Germany
  • 1998 Platin Romy Lifetime Award, Austria
  • 2002 Echo, „Lifetime-Award“ Germany
  • 2004 "Premio GABARDI", Lifetime Milano, Italy
  • 2005 Honorary Bambi, Germany


  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London, UK: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 77. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Work of Claus Ogerman". Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  4. ^ "The Work of Claus Ogerman". 16 November 1965. Retrieved 17 August 2015.

External links[edit]