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Baglioni and Yusuf Islam to perform at Sanremo 2014

Astronaut Parmitano and actress Franca Valeri among guests

10 February, 19:14
Baglioni and Yusuf Islam to perform at Sanremo 2014 (ANSA) - Sanremo, February 10 - This year's Sanremo Music Festival kicks off on February 18 and will spotlight a number of big name stars.

The guests were announced on Monday, and will include Italian performers whose careers have spanned several decades, such as the popular Claudio Baglioni, well known for his love ballads, and the radio anchor, film director and musician Renzo Arbore. The theater actress Franca Valeri, 93, will be making an appearance as well. The Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, who was the first Italian to ever take part in a space walk, will appear as a guest. Other musicians slated for performances include Rufus Wainwright, Stromae, Paolo Nutini, Damien Rice, and Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens.

Homage will be paid to the late Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, whose achievements include serving as music director of the La Scala opera house in Milan, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Vienna State Opera, and principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra. Abbado was made a Senator for life in 2013 and died in January.