Italy election: Rino Gaetano family objects to Giorgia Meloni’s use of his songs

Meloni’s party used Rino Gaetano songs during election.

The family of the late singer-songwriter Rino Gaetano has objected to Giorgia Meloni, leader of Italy’s far-right Fratelli d’Italia, using his music to celebrate her party’s election success.

Meloni is on track to become Italy’s first woman prime minister after a right-wing alliance, led by her party, triumphed in a general election on Sunday.

“Giorgia take your hands off Rino Gaetano”, said Alessandro Gaetano, nephew of the gravelly-voiced singer who died in a car crash in Rome in 1981 at the age of 30.

Meloni had played Gaetano’s song A mano a mano on stage during her election campaign as well as celebrating her electoral triumph with another Gaetano classic, Il cielo è sempre più blu.

  • Italy remembers Rino Gaetano 41 years after his death

“We can’t take it anymore” – the artist’s nephew told Italian newspaper La Repubblica – “Rino belongs to everyone, and politics must not take possession of him”, stressing that the family would also have objected if Gaetano’s music had been “appropriated by the left, despite the fact that Rino was on the left”.

It is not the first time during Italy’s election campaign that music was at the centre of controversy.

Earlier in September the Italian singer-songwriter Laura Pausini refused to sing Italy’s anti-fascist resistance anthem Bella Ciao on Spanish television due to it being “too political”.

  • Laura Pausini’s refusal to sing Bella Ciao sparks political debate in Italy

The refusal by the Grammy Award-winning singer to sing Bella Ciao caused uproar on social media, with many claiming that her refusal was “even more political” than if she had sung the song.

She received a backlash from left-wing politicians in Italy and Spain but her decision was welcomed by Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s right-wing Lega party, who tweeted his “esteem” for the artist.

“I don’t sing political songs, either from the right or the left” – Pausini retorted on Twitter – “That fascism is an absolute disgrace seems obvious to everyone. I don’t want anyone to use me for political propaganda.”