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Mina as Transnational Popular Music Star in the early 1960s

Haworth, Rachel


Rachel Haworth


As a ‘timeless icon’, ‘sophisticated performer’ and ‘the most versatile singer in Italian pop music’ (Prato 163-9), Mina is perhaps the most famous and successful proponent of the canzone italiana, Italian mainstream pop music. Her meteoric rise to fame in the early 1960s was mediated by television and the popular presses, which both presented Mina as a quintessential Italian star. Her popularity also extended abroad: in the same period, and at the climax of her rise to fame, Mina embarked on television and concert tours of Spain, West Germany, Venezuela, France and Japan. Singles released in these countries during this period performed extremely well, with ‘Heisser Sand’ in West Germany and ‘Suna ni kieta namida’ in Japan charting in the number one position of each country’s singles chart in 1962 and 1964 respectively. Such success illustrates how, in the period 1960-64, the singer becomes a transnational popular music star, who is able ‘to produce cultural meaning in relation to (but not dictated by) the existing power structures of nations and states, to remain mobile, flexible, and open to multiple avenues of meaning and pleasure in different contexts of politics, social relations, and cultural assumptions’ (Meeuf and Raphael 2). Through this lens of transnationality, the article explores Mina’s status as star as it was established during the early 1960s in the Italian context before focusing specifically on Mina’s presence on the global market during the same period. It takes as case studies Mina’s star image in Italy in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as then the singles released on the Japanese and West German markets, as a means of interrogating the extent to which Mina is transnational, with the potential to generate new cultural and social meanings, both in Italy and beyond.


Haworth, R. (2018). Mina as Transnational Popular Music Star in the early 1960s. Modern Languages Open, 2018(1), 1-16.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 2, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 12, 2018
Publication Date Dec 12, 2018
Deposit Date Aug 6, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 13, 2018
Print ISSN 2052-5397
Publisher Liverpool University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2018
Issue 1
Article Number 25
Pages 1-16
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Aug 6, 2018


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Copyright Statement
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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