Pino d’Angiò, Italo disco pioneer and ‘The Age Of Love’ composer, dies aged 71

Pino d’Angiò, Italo disco pioneer and ‘The Age Of Love’ composer, dies aged 71

Italo disco pioneer Pino d’Angiò has died at age 71.

The Italian songwriter and vocalist passed away from a short “serious illness”, his wife Teresa and son Francesco, announced on 6th July, Ill Messagero reports. “Unfortunately today dad left us, struck by a serious illness that took him away in a few weeks”, his family said. “He resisted a lot, as he always did.” d’Angiò previously faced several serious health issues, including throat cancer, sarcoma, cardiac arrest and more recently lung cancer. 

“Unfortunately, you don’t fight cancer: it’s all rhetoric, blah, blah, blah. Illnesses like these force you to wait and hope that everything goes well, that the treatments work, that you make it”, d’Angiò said of his cancer diagnoses in a February interview with Superguidatv, according to Ill Messagero. “I was lucky many times. When I had my first tumor, because I had several, I thought: ‘why me?’ When I survived, I thought: ‘why me?’ This is the attitude you have towards the illness, you stay quiet and hope to make it”. 

In a statement shared to Instagram, d’Angiò’s family said, “There are no words to describe the darkness of this moment… You were the most beautiful gift to those who had the privilege of knowing you.”

Pino d’Angiò, born Giuseppe Chierchia, released his first single in 1979, called ‘È libero, scusi”. This was followed by his biggest solo hit, ‘Ma Quale Idea’, in 1980. The single, which sold two million copies, is considered the spark that brought on Italian rap. It was remixed by Bnkr44 earlier this year — the artists performed all together at February’s Sanremo festival

d’Angiò also contributed harmonic composition and lyrics to the early trance classic, 1990’s ‘The Age Of Love’. He told Guerilla Bizarre the collaboration was “born in a totally random way”. d’Angiò said he was visiting friend composer Roger Samyn in Belgium, who “showed me this beat and it was horrendous. Only drums with annoying hi-hats going ‘tss tss tss tss’. So I was not sure what I could do with it, but he asked me to still give it a shot. Out of full courtesy, I put down a very simple harmony on the synth, and we put down a few words…”

“I went and randomly sang, ‘The age of love, the age of love, the age of love'”, d’Angiò said. “And then, the worst mistake of my life, I told him, ‘Do whatever you want with this, but please, do not dare putting my artist name on any of this’.” His ‘The Age Of Love’ co-songwriting credit appears as his real name Giuseppe Chierchia.

‘The Age Of Love’ was remixed by techno power couple Charlotte de Witte and Enrico Sangiuliano in 2021. 

For more on the history and enduring appeal of Italo disco, revisit Joe Roberts’ 2022 feature

Read a statement from d’Angiò’s family, listen to ‘The Age Of Love’ and watch a 1980 performance of ‘Ma Quale Idea’ from Dutch music show TopPop below.

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