Popular music artist and composer The wide range of Ranieri’s creative activities reveals a progressive artist who has sought to transcend the limitations of mainstream popular music. Born Giovanni Calone, he assumed his stage name in tribute to Prince Rainier of Monaco, making his debut at the New York Academy at the age of thirteen. In 1967 his performance of ‘Pietà per chi ti ama’ (Mercy On He Who Loves You) brought victory in Cantagiro and provided Ranieri with his first entry in the hit parade. There followed eight years of consistent success with numerous number one hits. In 1971, Ranieri met Leonard Bernstein and planned an album of Neapolitan songs with the London Symphony Orchestra. His activities in this area resulted in the award of a gold disc for O surdato ‘nnamurato (The Soldier in Love) in 1972. From the late 1970s, Ranieri succeeded in pursuing a parallel career as an actor, working extensively in film and theatre throughout Europe, though he also found the time to compete in, and win, the Sanremo Festival of 1988.