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Sinigallia ejected from Sanremo song contest

Motley Crue's Tommy Lee to sing 1958 Sanremo winner 'Volare'

21 February, 21:23
Sinigallia ejected from Sanremo song contest (ANSA) - Sanremo, February 21 - The fourth day of Italy's top Sanremo music festival Friday was scheduled to open in the wake of the explusion of singer Riccardo Sinigallia for having allegedly knowingly contravened event regulations that only permit competition participants to present new pieces to the jury.

The evening will open with key Italian music stars like Gino Paoli and Fiorella Mannoia, a scattering of glitterati actor and actresses like Enrico Brignano, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Violante Placido. An anticipated moment of the evening was Tommy Lee, of Motley Crue fame, offering his personal rendition of Volare, otherwise known as 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' crooned by one Italy's most famous singers and songwriters Domenico Modugno on the San Remo stage over half a century ago. The song launched his international career, and many a star including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Luciano Pavarotti, Louis Armstrong, Barry White, David Bowie and the Gypsy Kings have since personalized the song in their own performances.

The Sanremo festival has launched many a musical career including those of Andrea Bocelli, Gigliola Cinquetti and Eros Ramazzotti.

State television company RAI in its role of event organizer delivered letters to Sinigallia and to the music production company he works with, Sugar, in which the rationale between the explusion was explained. His song, 'Prima di andare via' or 'Before going away', has reportedly been already been presented to an audience in June 2013, according to a video that is currently in Internet circulation of which the organizers have a copy of. The musician has 24 hours to come up with a credible defence.

The festival has in past years generated controversy over its public funding, as it has never made a profit in the over half a century that it has been run. Viewing figures for Italy's popular Sanremo Song Festival improved Thursday night this week, after a Wednesday-night slump triggered a high-profile media post mortem and criticism of the use of state funds at a time of general economic crisis. This year, RAI says it expects the show that mixes glitz, kitsch, evergreens and an occasional breath of fresh air will rake in 20.2 million euros in advertising, plus 600,000 euros in ticket sales by the time it climaxes Saturday night. The timing of this year's festival poses some difficulties as it coincides with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Champions League soccer matches also distracted attention Wednesday night - while there was only the lesser fare of the Europa League Thursday.