Italo disco originator Carmelo La Bionda has died aged 78

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Early Italo disco originator, Carmelo La Bionda, had died aged 73 after a year-long battle with cancer.

According to a report by Italy24, Bionda passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning (November 5) at his home in Milan. There will be a funeral held today Tuesday November 8 at 2:30PM at the church of Santa Barbara di San Donato Milanese.

A Facebook post by Francesco Paolo, Carmelo’s son, announced the news. It read: “Carmelo left us today to join the great concert in heaven.

“We love you Carmelo, forever,” it continued.

Along with his brother Michelangelo La Bionda, he is considered one of the inventors of Italo disco, and a key figure in the development of the Italian dance music movement.

The brothers were born in Ramacca, Sicily, before moving to Milan when they were children, in 1954.

They formed the group D.D. Sound (Disco Delivery Sound), who were known for hit singles including ‘Disco Bass’, ‘Burning Love’ and ‘1,2,3,4…Gimme Some More’.

The pair also released records as La Bionda, including an influential self-titled album in 1978 – with tracks such as ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ and ‘One For You, One For Me’ garnering acclaim.

Their track ‘There for Me’, from the aforementioned album has been covered by a number of artists across the world, including Sarah Brightman & Josh Groban, Paul Potts and Patty Pravo. Carmelo and Michelangelo would continue to share music all the way until 1998, when they released their final La Bionda album ‘In Beatween’.

Johnson Righeira, of Italo disco duo Righeira who were produced and supported by the La Bionda brothers, paid tribute on Facebook. He said: “Such terrible news… I don’t know where life would have taken me without meeting him and Michelangelo.”

Take a listen to La Bionda classic, ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ below:

Isaac Muk is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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