Italian Song challenge Day 8: Achille Lauro

Achille Lauro is quite a controversial figure in Italian music, a former drug dealer he burst onto the scene through the 2019 Sanremo song contest with this song Rolls Royce.

The song quotes the names of several famous people who have died from drug overdoses like Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, Maralyn Monroe and Jimmy Hendrix.

It’s a song dedicated to living life fast, hard and with no regrets. And it was criticised as encouraging and glorifying the use of drugs.


Achille Lauro’s status as a gender-fluid shock rocker and rapper has given him immense popularity, and he thrives on any publicity surrounding him. His appeal is about being controversial.

His stage shows are filled with elaborate costume designs, and his collaborations with high-end designers have turned him into a contemporary fashion icon.


In the 2020 edition of Sanremo on the first performance of his song Me ne frego (I don’t care) saw him stripping down into a skin colour bodysuit. He played the role of Saint Francis of Assisi, an extraordinary sacrifice to the paparazzi.

At every other performance of his song at Sanremo 2020, Achille Lauro dressed in different costumes quoting famous figures through history and renaissance art. This included dressing as Queen Elizabeth the first, the Marchesa Luisa Castati Stampa and David Bowie in a mixture of sometimes confusing spectacle and performance art.

Images c/o Instagram

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