Italian singer Toto Cutugno, known for the number-one hit “L’Italiano,” passes away.

Italian singer-songwriter Salvatore “Toto” Cutugno, best known for his 1983 hit “L’Italiano,” has passed away at the age of 80, according to local media.

Cutugno passed away in Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital “after a long illness, which had become more serious in the last few months,” according to his manager, Danilo Mancuso, who spoke to Italy’s ANSA news agency.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni praised Cutugno in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), referring to him as a “true Italian.”

Cutugno, a Tuscan native, created the disco group Albatros in 1974, but he also became well-known for writing songs for several European performers, such as Johnny Hallyday and Dalida.

In addition, Cutugno frequently competed in the Italian Sanremo song competition, where he placed second several times and won the contest in 1980 with “Solo Noi.”

But “L’Italiano,” a pop song that praised the country’s identity and culture, was his 1983 number-one hit and the reason he became most well-known.

Although it had no effect in the United States or the United Kingdom, it propelled him to fame in Europe.

Cutugno, who created and wrote the song “Insieme: 1992” (“Together: 1992”), gave Italy its second Eurovision Song Contest triumph in Zagreb in 1990. According to the competition, the song’s title made reference to the year the European Union was scheduled to be established and spoke of international solidarity.

For us, there are no boundaries between our affections.

You and I are operating on the same ideals, “I and You”

Europe: “Insieme (Together), unite, unite.” In a post on X, Eurovision quoted Toto Cutugno’s winning song and added, “Rest in peace Toto Cutugno, winner of the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest.”

He co-hosted the event the following year in Rome with Italy’s 1964 champion, Gigliola Cinquetti.

Carla, Cutugno’s wife, and Nicolo, their son, survive him.