Pippo Baudo, artistic director of Italy's flagship Sanremo Festival, has unveiled the names of the 20 competitors for the event's 57th edition, which will run from Feb. 27 to March 3.

Baudo, a veteran TV presenter, announced the names live Jan. 7 on RAI 1 TV's popular Sunday afternoon show, "Domenica In."

The 20 acts are, in alphabetical order: Al Bano, Leda Battisti, Gianni and Marcella Bella, Fabio Concato, Simone Cristicchi, Johnny Dorelli, Francesco with Robby Facchinetti, Amalia Gré, Mango, Piero Mazzocchetti, Paolo Meneguzzi, Milva, Nada, Paolo Rossi, Antonella Ruggiero, Daniele Silvestri, Stadio, Tosca, Velvet and Zero Assoluto.

These performers make up the Festival's "Champions" section. This year's edition will also feature a "Young Proposals" division, with 14 emerging acts.

The event will be broadcast live on the RAI 1 TV station. The Festival, which commands a TV audience in excess of 10 million, has been key part of Italian musical life since the 1950s. It is also considered an excellent showcase opportunity for international acts with an eye on the Italian market.

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