The composer Franco Migliacci, author of classics of Italian music that crossed borders such as “Nel blu dipinto di blu” and “Una rotunda sul mare”, died today at the age of 92 in a clinic in Rome, local media reported.

Migliacci left his mark on the European music industry as a record producer, talent scout and composer for artists such as Mina, Rita Pavone, Gianni Morandi and Domenico Modugno, with whom he composed one of the anthems of the early years of the Eurovision Song Contest that has lasted until our days.

“Nel blu, dipinto di blu”, popularly known as “Volare”, won at the San Remo Festival in 1958 and represented Italy in the European competition, where it came in third place, a position that did not prevent its international success until it became in one of the most representative songs of Italian music in the world.

Its impact was such that it crossed the Atlantic to reach number one in the American magazine Billboard and won three awards at the first edition of the Grammy Awards, placing Modugno and Migliacci ahead of icons such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

The verses of the song (“I think a dream like that will never come back, I painted my hands and face blue”) arose from the desperation of Migliacci, who one day decided to paint his hands and face blue to “slowly disappear.” and the gesture led him to write the song hand in hand with Morandi.

The song, a song of liberation and spontaneity in the face of life’s troubles, has been covered by countless musicians in almost every possible genre, from David Bowie to Cliff Richard, Hilary Duff and the Gipsy Kings.

From then on he left his job as a set designer and began composing for Mina, Rita Pavone, Patty Pravo, Nicola Di Bari and more exponents of the “Italian canzone”. Although his greatest successes came from his prolific collaboration with Gianni Morandi with songs like “C’era un ragazzo che come me…”, “Che sarà”, “Come te non c’è nessuno”.

He was also the author of the soundtrack of children’s classics such as “Heidi” and for two years he presided over the Italian Society of Authors and Editors (SIAE).