For Al Bano (75) and Romina Power, “happiness” is the greatest success of their lives. The singing duo had a world hit with “Felicità” (Italian luck), which brought them millions and fame. Besides that, it didn’t bring them so much luck.
“Felicità” – that was a long time ago, but somehow the Italian catchy tune has eaten its way into long-term memory. These days he will be heard more often on the radio again, because Romina Power will be 70 years old on October 2nd.
Not just a summer hit
“Felicità” was more than just a summer hit. It was the ultimate declaration of love, to the carefree romantic life, with holding hands and long walks on the beach. All of Europe fell in love with this simple song.
In the winter of 1982 they performed with the song at the Sanremo Festival. “Felicità, è tenersi per mano, andare lontano, la felicità …”, Al Bano bellowed in his pretty, bright voice, a “small, inconspicuous Italian with checkout glasses” and “questionable hairstyle”, as the “Spiegel” wrote: ” An elf-like beauty in a strapless red glitter dress prances next to him and breathes back: Felicità. “
The love story of the gold couple
You: American, daughter of Hollywood star Tyrone Power, who died of a heart attack while filming at the age of 44 in 1958. He: son of a southern Italian winegrower. A seemingly unequal couple, which is precisely why they appeared so authentic to the audience. “What else could lead these two to each other except amore?” Asked the “mirror”.
That had already happened in the 1960s. Romina Power, who lived in Spain and Italy with her mother, actress Linda Christian, and who has starred in Italian films and appeared as a singer since she was 14, was only 15 when she was eight years older when she was filming “Guaranteed Virgo” Albano Carissi met. He was already a hit star.
The next film together, “Nel Sole”, must have sparked. She becomes pregnant and the two marry in 1970 against their parents’ wishes. Daughter Ylenia was born in the same year, followed by three more children: Yari (1973), Cristel (1985) and Romina Jr. (1987).
There are Al Bano, as he is now called, and Romina “La coppia d’oro” – the gold couple. A dream duo of Italian pop music. You represent the country in 1976 and 1985 at the Eurovision Song Contest. Several times they are the stars of the Sanremo Festival, which won 1984 with “Ci sarà”. Her hits “Sharazan”, “Semper semper”, “Libertà” and above all “Felicità” are million sellers. The couple has obviously booked happiness on a long-term basis.
Tragedy over her daughter destroys marriage
Then the big break, a tragic event: Her eldest daughter Ylenia, then 23, disappears on New Year’s Eve 1993. She is on a trip to the USA and has stayed in New Orleans with her boyfriend, the street musician Alexander Masakela, in the French Quarter. On December 31st, she leaves her hotel alone – and is never seen again afterwards. The girl has been officially missing since January 6, 1994.
The marriage of the parents breaks up at this event. Romina believes her daughter has been kidnapped but is still alive. She is looking for Ylenia through television shows, also in 2011 on the ZDF program “Aktenzeichen XY”, and even hired fortune tellers. The desperate search for clues – once Ylenia is allegedly spotted in the Dominican Republic, sometimes she is said to have been seen in a monastery in Arizona – doesn’t reveal anything concrete.
From “Felicità” in “Hell”
Al Bano and Rominia split up in 1998, a year later they divorce, Ylenia has disappeared. Her father suspects that she committed suicide in the Mississippi. He even goes so far that he claims that his daughter only became a drug addict through her mother: Romina, reports “Bild”, “smoked joints regularly when they first met”. His suspicion: The ex brought Ylenia into contact with drugs. And that feeds the singer’s theory of the daughter’s disappearance: He believes the young woman drowned herself “in a marijuana intoxication”.
Romina Power explains on a talk show on Spanish television: “Ylenia rejected her father, the two of them argued all the time … She said to me: ‘You have to get away, I’ll do it one day.'” Al Bano was “a Dictator! When he got upset, he would scream. He even kicked me once. He was morbidly jealous and acted like a tyrant. Our marriage was hell. ”
On the other hand, Al Bano asserts that he treated Romina – “She was the woman of my life” – “like a Madonna”. He is convinced that “drugs have destroyed our marriage.” The once harmonious relationship seems to be irreversibly poisoned, and daughter Ylenia is pronounced dead ten years after her disappearance.
Reunification in Moscow
Romina Power largely withdraws into private life, becomes a Buddhist, writes a novel and in 2012 released the solo album “Da Ionato”. Al Bano is also aiming for a solo career, and he also becomes a winemaker on his father’s winery. He is also in a relationship again, with the TV presenter Loredana Lecciso, with whom he has two more children. And he writes his autobiography “It’s my life”. His two companions Romina and Loredana do not appear in the work. He has only reserved two blank pages for her.
Then – completely surprising – the reunification. On the initiative of a Russian millionaire, Romina and Al Bano appear again as a singing duo in Moscow in October 2014. More appearances follow, although Al Bano’s health is thrown back in 2016 by two heart attacks and a heart operation, but he recovers quickly. There is even a tour of Germany – and in 2020 the new album “Raccogli l’attimo”. With the title song they appear again at the Sanremo Festival.
The harmony between the two seems so great that some media speculate on a renewed flare-up of love and “Felicità”. She says: “With age we have become milder. The fact that I am a practicing Buddhist also helped me. That changed my mind for the better.”
The Protestant magazine “chrismon” asked both of them what they mean today by their so fervently sung about “happiness”. Al Bano: “Felicità, that’s when I can nibble the edge of your pizza.” Romina: “Felicità, that is when I meet you on the way to the toilet at night because you have just come from there.”
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