(Credit: rabendeviaregia)

Franco Battiato, the iconic Italian songwriter, has died aged 76

Franco Battiato, the famed and iconic Italian songwriter, has died aged 76.

Reports from Italy claim that Battiato passed away on the 18th of May, aged 76, after a long battle with illness.

The singer-songwriter, composer and filmmaker died at his home in Milo, Catania in his native Sicily, where he returned in 2019.

The brilliant renaissance man was born in 1945 and his creative scope and inventive ingenuity earned him the nickname Il Maestro amongst contemporaries, including Giorgio Moroder.

Over the decades, he collaborated with several Italian and international musicians and produced an iconic cover of The Rolling Stones song ‘Ruby Tuesday’ which catapulted the star to international recognition, where his eccentric charms won over a legion of fans.

Battiato continued with music until 2010 and toured with his old Eurovision collaborator Alice throughout 2016 ahead of a farewell gig in Catania in 2017. Thereafter he struggled with illness and retired in 2019.

He is survived by his eclectic body of work in a range of diverse fields and his pioneering output in new wave.

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