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Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti (17 January 1933 – 3 May 1987), best known as Dalida, was a Franco-Italian singer and actress who performed and recorded in more than 10 languages including: Arabic, Italian, Greek, German, French, English, Japanese, Hebrew, Dutch and Spanish.She was born in Cairo, Egypt, to Italian (Calabrian) parents, and spent her early years in the Italian Egyptian community of Cairo, but she lived most of her adult life in France. She received 55 gold records and was the first singer to receive a diamond disc. She had a 30-year career (she debuted in 1956 and recorded her last album in 1986, a few months before her death) and her death led to an iconic image as a tragic diva and renowned singer.Honours and tributes


  • 1950: Dalida won the title of Miss Ondine.
  • 1954: Dalida won the Miss Egypt beauty pageant and crowned Miss Egypt 1954.
  • 1962: Calabrian Citizen of Honour.
  • 1968: Godmother of Montmartre street urchins.
  • 1977: Egyptian Medal of Honour
  • 1984: Dalida declined the French honour Légion d'honneur award, the highest order of France, marking the first time she ever declined an honour.
  • 1968: Medal of the City of Paris.
  • 1968: the French President's Medal (Médaille de la Présidence de la République) awarded by President of the French Republic Général de Gaulle on 5 December 1968, representing the only time in history an artist has ever been presented with this honour by the President of France to date.
  • 1968: Ruby Cross (Croix de Vermeil) (Commander of Arts, Sciences and Letters).
  • 1981: Dalida was awarded a medal by then-French Minister of Defence Charles Hernu.
  • City of Graulhet Medal of Honour, 1980
  • Belgian Medal of Honour, 1984
  • Canadian medal for talent and wisdom, 1985

Posthumous tributes

  • 1987: Dalida was posthumously honoured with a commemorative coin minted by The French Mint, Monnaie de Paris, issued in gold, bronze and silver, bearing her effigy.
  • 1988: Dalida was posthumously honoured by the "International Star Registry" (US), with the issuance of a diploma, awarded three years after her death.
  • 1997: Dalida was posthumously honoured by the City of Paris with a square named in her memory, named "Dalida Square", located at the angle of rues Girardon and Abreuvoirs, in the 18th arrondissement (borough) of Paris, France.
  • 1997: Dalida became one of only three women in France to have a statue erected to her, along with Joan of Arc and Sarah Bernhardt.
  • 1998: Dalida was posthumously honoured in Egypt in a tribute ceremony on 27 October in Cairo and the "Dalida Prize" was awarded in her honour.
  • 2001: Dalida was posthumously honoured by the French government with a second stamp bearing her likeness which was released by La Poste, the French postal service, as part of the Song Artists series. 10,157,601 copies were sold.
  • 2003: Awarded prize for "Greatest Singer of the Century" in France, based on three criteria: numbers of album and single sales, number of radio airplays and chart positions. Dalida was placed third after Madonna and Céline Dion. In 2003 Dalida remained the number one favourite artist in France.


  • 1965 – F.O.P. Poll: 'Favourite French singer'
  • 1976 – Dalida was voted 'Woman of the Year' in Canada, ahead of Jackie Kennedy)
  • 1982 – Paris Match magazine survey revealed that Dalida was the only representative from show business to appear in a list of most influential French women.
  • 1985 – Dalida was voted 'Favourite French singer' (Télé 7 Jours magazine).
  • 1986 – VSD magazine published a survey in which Dalida was voted 'Favourite French singer'.
  • 1988 – SOFRES/Encyclopædia Universalis: In a survey asking the French public which events had the greatest impact on the French public between 1968 and 1988, 16% of the French public voted the 'Death of Général de Gaulle' and 10% voted the 'Death of Dalida'.
  • 2001 – IFOP Survey: Dalida was voted the 'Most important female singer who had the greatest impact on French society in the 20th century', along with Édith Piaf.
  • 2005 – Dalida was voted the 'Favourite singer in 2004' amongst Italians, and held seventh place amongst the most collected musical artists in Italy.
  • 2005 – Dalida was voted 'Top 58th French person of all time' in a survey sponsored by the France 2 television channel. The only women from show business which appeared in this list were Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot, Simone Signoret, Édith Piaf and Dalida.

Honorific eponyms

  •  France: Place Dalida, Montmartre, Paris
  •  Quebec: rue Dalida, Laval, Que., Canada

Art (selection)

  • Jean Sobieski: Dalida (Oil on canvas, 19??)
  • Magguy Crouzet: Dalida (Portrait in dot-sculpture, 1976)
  • Michel Souvais: Dalida, femme est la nuit (Oil on canvas, 1977)
  • Alain Aslan: Dalida (Yolanda Gigliotti), funerary statue (Bronze sculpture, 1987)
  • Alain Aslan: Dalida (Yolanda Gigliotti) (Bronze bust, 1997)
  • Francesco Gallo: Dalida (Yolanda Gigliotti) (Bronze sculpture, 2007)
  • FS62: Dalida (Black and white portrait in acrylic, 2008)

Dalida in contemporary music

  • The Dalida song "Born to Sing" (original French title "Mourir sur scène" and later translated to English, Italian and Spanish) was covered in English by Dalida's long time friend Shirley Bassey, released in 1986 as a B-side of a Towerbell Records single (A-side: "There's No Place Like London"). Although the recording has never been re-released, Shirley Bassey performed the song in 1995 during some concerts as part of her 40th anniversary world tour. Shirley Bassey's interpretation of "Born to Sing" is also sometimes titled or referred to as "I Was Born to Sing Forever."
  • In 1996, Céline Dion and Alain Delon performed the song "Paroles, paroles" on the 1996 New Year's Eve France 2 television programme.
  • In 1998, Sarah Brightman’s released the song "There for Me", an English-language version of "Fini, la comédie". The song first appeared on her Time to Say Goodbye album, featuring José Cura. It was also released as a single, with "O mio babbino caro" as the B-side track. Often on her 2000/2001 La Luna tour, Brightman would perform this duet with Josh Groban, and this was included in the La Luna: Live in Concert DVD.
  • The song "De la scène à la Seine", by Charles Aznavour, from his year 2000 album "Aznavour, 2000" is a tribute to Dalida.
  • In 2000, Sarah Hohn (featuring Wehrlen), released a cover of the song "Paroles, paroles" in tribute to Dalida and Alain Delon.
  • In 2002, an interpretation of the song "Pour ne pas vivre seul", by Firmine Richard, was included in the movie "8 femmes", by François Ozon.
  • In 2004, the song "Laissez-moi danser (Monday Tuesday)" was covered by Star Academy 4 in France, under the shorter name "Laissez-moi danser", in honour of Dalida.
  • In 2005, Lebanese singer Grace Deeb released a cover of the song "Helwa ya baladi", which reached number one spots over the charts.
  • In 2007, Spanish singer Luz Casal released the song "18 años", a new Spanish-language interpretation of "Tenía 18 años", the Spanish version of "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans" (English version: "He Must Have Been Eighteen"), in honour of French music, with entirely new Spanish lyrics, on her album "Vida tóxica".
  • In 2007, Italian singer Patty Pravo released the tribute album "Spero che ti piaccia... Pour toi", in tribute to Dalida.
  • In 2007, Lebanese singer Elissa (Arabic: ?????) paid hommage to the chanteuse, covering her famous song, "Helwa ya baladi".
  • In 2007, Italian singer-songwriter Franco Battiato released the album "Fleurs 2", containing the track "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans", a cover in hommage to the singer, performed with the participation of Persian vocalist Sepideh Raissadat (Persian: ????? ???? ?????).
  • In 2008, French singer Michèle Torr covered the song "Pour ne pas vivre seul", released on her album "Ces années-là", in hommage to Dalida. A live version of her rendition was also released on her live DVD "Olympia 2008", and digital album of the same name, both released in 2009.
  • In 2009, Lara Fabian released the tribute album "Toutes les femmes en moi", containing an interpretation of the song "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans", of which the former is in part tribute, and the latter in tribute to Dalida.
  • In 2009, Arthanor Music released the tribute album "Un clip de toi (Hommage à Dalida, 1988)", containing four tracks originally recorded in 1988 by David Heissen and dedicated to Dalida.
  • In 2012, French singer Amel Bent rendered hommage to Dalida by performing two of Dalida's signature songs "À Ma Manière" and "Mourir Sur Scène" on France 3's television programme "Chabada".
  • In 2012, the double album "Depuis qu’elle est partie" containing a hommage CD titled "Ils chantent Dalida" featuring covers of several of Dalida's songs, performed by French singers Amel Bent, Christophe Willem, Hélène Segara, Patrick Fiori, Lara Fabian, Christophe (singer), Dany Brillant, and others, will be released in the month of April.
  • 2013 Gigi L'amoroso stranded number 98 in the Belgium top 1000 listeners choice

Music from motion pictures and TV

The following Dalida songs have appeared in the formentioned motion pictures or TV series.

Theatrical productions

Several theatrical productions have been made about Dalida's life. In 1999, "Solitudini – Luigi Tenco e Dalida", written and directed by Maurizio Valtieri, was performed in Rome. "Dalida: Une Vie", directed by René Simard and under the authorisation of Orlando Productions, was performed from October 2003 to June 2006, in Quebec, Canada, and was shown in Beirut, Lebanon in May 2004. In 2005, the play "Dalida, à quoi bon vivre au mois de mai ?", written by Joseph Agostini and Caroline Sourrisseau, was performed at the Ateliers Théâtre in Montmartre.


  • Dalida, by Michel Delain, Éditions de l'Heure, 1962. (French)
  • Dalida, La gloire et les larmes, by Pascal Sevran, 1976. (French)
  • 25 ans de triomphe, by Christian Page, Delmas Éditeur, 1981. (French)
  • Dalida, by Christian Page, Têtes D'affiche, 1982. (French)
  • Dalida, mon amour, by Anne Gallimard and Orlando, Édition NRJ, 1984. ISBN 2-908070-01-4 and ISBN 978-2-908070-01-9. (French)
  • Lorsque l’amour s’en va, by Catherine Benoît Sévin, Michel Lafon, 1987; Carrere, 1989. ISBN 2-86804-406-9 and ISBN 978-2-908070-01-9. (French)
  • Dalida, mon amour, by Anne Gallimard and Orlando, Édition NRJ, 1989. ISBN 2-908070-01-4 and ISBN 978-2-908070-01-9. (French)
  • Dalida mon amour, by Orlando, Hachette Littérature, 1991. ISBN 2-7382-0362-0 and ISBN 978-2-7382-0362-5. (French)
  • Dalida, Histoire d’une femme, by Jean-François Josselin and Jeff Barnel, Jean-Claude Lattès, 1994. ISBN 2-7096-1450-2 and ISBN 978-2-7096-1450-4. (French)
  • Les larmes de la gloire, by Bernard Pascuito, Éditions Michel Lafon, 1997. ISBN 2-84098-301-X and ISBN 978-2-84098-301-9. (French)
  • Dalida, by C. Daccache, Éditions Vade Retro, 1998. ISBN 2-909828-51-4 and ISBN 978-2-909828-51-0. (French)
  • Dalida: Mon frère, tu écriras mes mémoires, by Catherine Rihoit, Plon, 1998. (French)
  • Dalida, by Catherine Rihoit, Omnibus, 1998. ISBN 2-259-00083-5 and ISBN 978-2-259-00083-3. (French)
  • Star pour toujours, by Julie Thamin, Gep, 2000. (French)
  • Dalida: Entre violon et amour, by Isaline, Éditions Publibook, 2002. ISBN 2-7483-2629-6 and ISBN 978-2-7483-2629-1. (French)
  • Du Nil à la scène, Jacques Brachet, Éditions Va bene and Éditions de la courtine, 2001, 2002. ISBN 2-84869-007-0 and ISBN 2-913483-36-4. (French)
  • Dalida: Une oeuvre en soi, by Michel Rheault, Nota Bene, 2002. ISBN 2-89518-111-X. (French)
  • Luigi Tenco. Vita breve e morte di un genio musicale, by Aldo Fegatelli Colonna, A. Mondadori, 2002. ISBN 880450087 and ISBN 978-88-04-50087-2. (Italian)
  • Ciao, ciao bambina, by Henri-Jean Servat and Orlando, Éditions Albin Michel, 2003. ISBN 2-226-14298-3 and ISBN 978-2-226-14298-6. (French)
  • Dalida, by Catherine Rihoit, Plon, re-published 2004. ISBN 2-259-20180-6 and ISBN 978-2-259-20180-3. (French)
  • D’une rive à l’autre, by David Lelait, Payot, 2004. ISBN 2-228-89904-6 and ISBN 978-2-228-89904-8. (French)
  • L’argus Dalida: Discographie mondiale et cotations, by Daniel Lesueur, Éditions Alternatives, 2004. ISBN 2-86227-428-3 and ISBN 978-2-86227-428-7. (French)
  • La véritable Dalida, by Emmanuel Bonini, Éditions Pygmalion, 2004. ISBN 2-85704-902-1 and ISBN 978-2-85704-902-9. (French)
  • Mademoiselle succès, Barclay France, 2004. UPC 602498110843. (French)
  • Dalida: La femme de cœur, by Jeff Barnel, Éditions du Rocher, 2005. ISBN 2-268-05500-0 and ISBN 978-2-268-05500-8. (French)
  • Dalida: La voce e l'anima, by Giandomenico Curi, 2005. ISBN 88-7641-687-0 and ISBN 978-88-7641-687-3. (Italian)
  • Top Dalida, Éditions Paul Beuscher, 2005. ASIN B000ZG64FO. (French)
  • Dalida: La voce, Il suono, L'anima, by Mino Rossi, Edizioni Franciacorta, 2005. ISBN 88-89364-01-7 and ISBN 978-88-89364-01-7. (Italian)
  • Quasi sera: una storia di Tenco, by A. Montellanico, StampaAlternativa/NuoviEquilibri, 2005. ISBN 88-7226-910-5. (Italian)
  • D’une rive à l’autre, by David Lelait-Helo, Éditions J'ai Lu, 2006. ISBN 2-290-34567-9 and ISBN 978-2-290-34567-2. (French)
  • Ntaainta Dalida, Éditions Odos Panos and 20 ans sans elle, 2006. (French)
  • Dalida passionnément, by Arianne Ravier, Éditions Favre, 2006. ISBN 2-8289-0927-1 and ISBN 978-2-8289-0927-7. (French)
  • Dalida, by Henry-Jean Servat and Orlando, Éditions Albin Michel, 2007. ISBN 2-226-15218-0 and ISBN 978-2-226-15218-3. (French)
  • Dalida, tu m'appelais petite sœur…, by Jacqueline Pitchal, Éditions Carpentier Didier, 2007. ISBN 2-84167-504-1 and ISBN 978-2-84167-504-3. (French)
  • Dalida: Une vie brûlée, by Bernard Pascuito, L'Archipel, 2007. ISBN 2-84187-955-0 and ISBN 978-2-84167-504-3. (French)
  • Dalida: Une vie..., by Jacques Pessis, Célina Jauregui, Emmanuel Polle and N-T Binh, Édition Chronique, 2007. ISBN 2-205-06006-6 and ISBN 978-2-205-06006-5. (French)
  • Dalida: Le temps d'aimer, Fabien Lecœuvre, Éditions City Editions, 2007. ISBN 2-35288-046-7 and ISBN 978-2-35288-046-2. (French)
  • Luigi Tenco: Ed ora avrei mille cose da fare, by R. Tortarolo and G. Carozzi, Arcana, 2007. ISBN 88-7966-431-X and ISBN 978-88-7966-431-8. (Italian)
  • Dalida: Ses fans, ses amis ont la parole, by Claire Nérac and Cédric Naïmi, Éditions du Rocher, 2008. ISBN 2-268-06580-4 and ISBN 978-2-268-06580-9. (French)
  • Mia zia, ma tante Dalida, by Stéphane Julienne and Luigi Gigliotti, Éditions Ramsay, 2009. ISBN 2-8122-0011-1 and ISBN 978-2-8122-0011-3. (French)
  • Dalida, le profil perdu, by Jean-Manuel Gabert, Éditions de la Belle Gabrielle, La légende de Montmartre collection, 2009. ISBN 2-917269-02-2 and ISBN 978-2-917269-02-2. (French)
  • Pour Dalida, by Colette Fellous, Flammarion ed., 2010. ISBN 2-08-069056-6 and ISBN 978-2-08-069056-2. (French)
  • Les grands interprètes, by Jacques Perciot, Frédéric Brun, Olympia Alberti, et Claude Frigara, Éditions Christian Pirot, 2010. ISBN 2-86808-274-2 and ISBN 978-2-86808-274-9. (French)
  • Rencontres avec une Étoile, by Jean-Claude Genel, Éditions Entre deux mondes, 2010. ISBN 2-919537-00-8 and ISBN 978-2-919537-00-6. (French)
  • La nuit de San Remo, by Philippe Brunel, Éditions Grasset, 2012. ISBN 2-246-75321-X and ISBN 978-2-246-75321-6. (French)
  • Ciao amore. Tenco e Dalida, la notte di Sanremo, by Philippe Brunel, transl. by G. Vulpius, Rizzoli ed., 2012. ISBN 88-17-05518-2 and ISBN 978-88-17-05518-5. (Italian)
  • C'était en mai, un samedi, by David Lelait-Helo, Éditions Anne Carrière, 2012. ISBN 2-84337-663-7 and ISBN 978-2-84337-663-4. (French)
  • Internet websites: Hit-Parade France, Hit Parade Italia, Infodisc, Official Montmartre Tourist Information Authority, Dalida Official Website.


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