After finishing his education Luciano spent several years working through a series of jobs including deejay, fruit picker, accountant, salesman, industrial worker, shopkeeper, promoter and city councilor.
Luciano Ligabue - Photo: Elena Torre
In 1987 he performed a live concert in Correggio with a local rock band called Orazero and the entire set consisted of songs he had written himself. The following year Pierangelo Bertoli, another singer/songwriter from the same region, recorded one of Ligabue's songs on his album 'Sogni di Rock'n'Roll'. Later that year Luciano Ligabue, together with the band Orazero, won the Terremoto rock competition, their prize being the funds to record a single.
The next year he was introduced, by Pierangelo Bertoli, to the record producer Angelo Carrara with whom he worked to produce his first LP, called 'Ligabue', which was released in May 1990. It was a huge success with one of the tracks, 'Balliamo sul Mondo' winning the 'New Act' section of the Festivalbar.
After this he went on to perform a series of concerts, almost 300, over the next three years and became known from then on as simply 'Ligabue'. During this period he released two more albums and was the support band for U2 in Turin and Naples. He released his fourth album at the end of 1994 and quickly went on to become one of the most successful Italian rock stars. He continues to release albums and tour extensively giving sell-out concerts wherever he goes.
Verona 2008 - Photo: Lo Scaligero
As well as being a highly successful singer/songwriter Ligabue is also a talented writer and a film director. In 1997 he published his first book 'Fuori e dentro il borgo'and gained two literary awards for it. The book is a collection of short stories about the area of Italy in which he was born and grew up and sections of it were later used for a film with Ligabue writing the screenplay.
In 1998 he directed his first film 'Radio Freccia' for which also wrote the soundtrack. Radio Freccia was presented at the Venice Film Festival and was very well received with critics stating that it was exceptionally well shot for a newcomer. The film won two David di Donatello (the highest award in Italian cinema) and three Silver Ribbons for best first feature, best soundtrack and best song.
He directed his second film 'Da zero a dieci' in 2002, which, while not as successful as the first film was well received and was chosen to close the Cannes Film Festival that year.
Ligabue (far R) at the 66th Venice Film Festival
Photo: Nico Genin
In 2004 Ligabue released his first novel 'La neve se ne frega' which sold over 200,000 copies and he received an honorary degree for Communication Studies from the University of Teramo.
He also released a collection of poems in 2006 called 'Lettere d'Amore nel frigo' which translates as 'Love Letters in the Fridge'.
Luciana Ligabue, San Remo 2014
On a personal level he was married in 1991 to Donatella Messori and they had a son, Lorenzo, who was born in 1998. The couple separated in 2003 and Ligabue is now in a relationship with Barbara, the physiotherapist who toured with him and they have a daughter, Linda, who was born in 2004.