Italian songbird Filippa Giordano emerged in 1998 as one of the pop/classical crossover world's fastest rising stars. Born in Palermo, Giordano was the youngest of a family of musicians. Her parent's opera careers soon moved the family to Rome, where Giordano enrolled in the National Academy to study ballet. As she followed her parents from engagement to engagement, she fell in love with the world of classical voice. Simultaneously, the pop and R&B sounds coming from her radio entranced her. She began studying voice under her mother, who schooled her in both pop and operatic techniques. The young talent released her debut record in 1998, titled Passioni. The record was produced by Celso Valli and Marcio Sabiu, veterans of artists Andrea Bocelli, Laura Pausini, and Tanita Tikaram. The album's popularity took off following a second place win at the renowned Sanremo Festival in 1999. An international version of the record was released throughout the English speaking world by Warner Classic UK. The record climbed to the top of classical charts all over the globe, achieving gold status in Australia and Japan. A series of important television appearances followed on British and Japanese TV, including the Barry More Show and Music Fair -- Japan. Following Academy Awards performances (L.A.) and receiving an Echo Award for Music without Borders (Germany), Giordano returned to the studio. Her sophomore effort was released in 2002, titled Il Rosso Amore. The record announced a new phase in her career, filled with spreads in fashion magazines In Style, Gala, and Marie Claire, as well as an invitation to perform at Sanremo, this time in the celebrity category. Giordano embarked on a Mexican tour in 2005, with stops in most of the nation's important cities. Her Spanish speaking fan base was widened with the release of her third album, Prima Donna. The record featured a number of selections written in Spanish, a gesture that did not go unnoticed. In 2006, Giordano performed for better than 8,000 fans at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, followed by numerous awards and honors from Mexican cultural and political figures. Prima Donna achieved gold status in Mexico in February of 2007. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi