Salvatore Knight Adamo, simply known as Adamo (born 1 November 1943, Comiso, Sicily, Italy), is a Belgian composer and singer of Italian ancestry. He first gained popularity throughout Europe and later in the Middle East, Latin America, Japan, and the United States. He has sold more than 80 million albums and 20 million singles making him one of the most commercially successful musicians in the world. He mainly performs in French but has also sung in English, German, Italian and Spanish.
His father Antonio, a well digger, emigrated to Belgium in February 1947 to work in the mines of Marcinelle, and in June of the same year, his wife, Concetta, a housewife, and their son Adamo joined him in the town of Ghlin (Mons) before moving to Jemappes (Mons). In 1950, Adamo was bedridden for a year with meningitis. Adamo’s parents did not want their son to become a miner, so Adamo went to a Catholic school run by the Frères des Ecoles Chrétiennes. By 1960, the family of Antonio and Concetta Adamo had seven children overall. Adamo grew up in Jemappes (Mons) where he was a dedicated student at school and distinguished himself in Music and the arts, in general, from an early age, making an impression with his singing abilities. At the end of the 1960s, Adamo married Nicole. Their son, Anthony, was born in 1969, while in the 1980s Benjamin and then Amélie were born. At the height of Adamo’s stardom, his father died by drowning on 7 August 1966.
In 1984, Adamo had heart problems which necessitated a heart bypass operation and a temporary though total withdrawal from work. Since 1993, he has been an honorary UNICEF ambassador from Belgium and, in this capacity, has visited countries such as Vietnam, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and others. In 2001, Adamo was named a chevalier by Albert II, King of the Belgians. In 2004, health problems forced Adamo to cancel a scheduled tour but, since 2007, he is touring again. In December 2011, he has performed in Espinho, Portugal and Bucharest, Romania.
There are versions of “Tombe la neige”, (one of his many international hits) in Bulgarian, Turkish, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Chinese (Cantopop).
His sister Délizia is also an artist. Adamo wrote a number of songs for his sister including her debut hit “Prend le chien” in 1974. She also joined him in his tour in 1975.
Adamo’s early influences were the poetry of Victor Hugo and Jacques Prévert, the music of French singer-songwriters like Georges Brassens, and the Italian canzonette. He started singing and composing his own songs from an early age. His debut was in a Radio Luxembourg competition, where he participated as singer and composer of the song “Si j’osais” (“If I dared”) winning the competition’s final held in Paris, in 14 February 1960.
Adamo’s first hit was “Sans toi, ma mie”, in 1963, from his debut album 63/64. He followed this with a series of hits, “Tombe la neige” (“The snow falls”), “Vous permettez, monsieur? (nl)” (“May I, Sir”), “La Nuit” (“The Night”) (1964), “Dolce Paola” (“Sweet Paola”), “Les Filles du bord de mer” (“The girls at the beach”), “Mes mains sur tes hanches” (“My hands on your hips”) (1965), “Ton Nom” (“Your Name”), “Une meche de cheveux” (“Lock of hair”) (1966), “Une larme aux nuages” (“A tear to the clouds”), “Inch’Allah” (if God permits) (1967), “L’amour te ressemble” (“Love resembles you”) (1967), “Notre roman” (“Our novel”) (1967), “F… comme femme” (“W… like woman”) (1968), “A demain sur la lune” (“See you tomorrow on the moon”), “Petit bonheur” (“Small happiness”) (1969), “Va mon bateau” (“My boat goes”), “Les belles dames” (“Beautiful ladies”) (1970), “J’avais oublié que les roses sont roses” (“I had forgotten that the roses are pink”) (1971), “C’est ma vie” (“It’s my life”) (1975). Other notable songs included “Manuel”, “Si Tu Etais”, “Les Collines De Rabiah”, “J’Te Lache Plus”, “Mourir Dans Tes Bras”, and “Ce George(s)”.
The self-penned “Petit bonheur” sold over one million copies by April 1970, and was awarded a gold disc
He has recorded in many languages and, besides France and Belgium, had hits in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and also in Japan, where he toured repeatedly. Adamo has had hits and toured also in Latin America and throughout the Middle East. In Chile, the audience awarded him an appreciation prize known as the “Antorcha” (Gold and Silver Torch) at the “Festival de Viña del Mar” held yearly in the “Quinta Vergara”, at the seaside resort of Viña del Mar, where he once had to sing in three different, sold-out venues in the same night.
In the 1980s, Adamo’s career faltered, as the style of his music was no longer fashionable. Since the 1990s, however, and on the crest of a nostalgia wave, Adamo has successfully resumed composing, issuing records and touring, starting with a full season at the Casino de Paris venue in April 1990.
Adamo has sold over 100 million copies of recordings worldwide.
01. Une Mèche De Cheveux 2.58
02. La Complainte Des Élus 2.58
03. Sonnet Pour Notre Amour 2.15
04. Princesses Et Bergères 2.24
All songs written by Adamo