Gino Vannelli

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on June 16, 1952, Gino Vannelli is a rock and pop singer, songwriter, and producer. He’s best known for his hits “I Just Wanna Stop” (1978), “Living Inside Myself” (1981), “Black Cars” (1985), and “Wild Horses” (1987). While he had a fair share of hits in the U.S. and beyond, he achieved more chart action in Canada, his home country. His musical career started in 1969 when he signed his first record contract at the age of 17. Recording under the name Vann-Elli, he issued the 1970 single “Gina Bold”. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1972, Vannelli and his brother Joe – later to be joined by third brother Ross - struggled to land a record deal until Vannelli approached A&M Records’ Herb Alpert with one of his demos. Signed to the label, he released his debut album, Crazy Life, in 1973. While his debut didn’t chart, his second album, Powerful People (1974), climbed to Number 60 on the Canadian Albums chart. He continued to achieve success in Canada with his albums, reaching the Top 20 with The Gist of the Gemini (1976) and the Top 30 with A Pauper in Paradise (1977). In 1978, he made his U.S. commercial breakthrough with the single “I Just Wanna Stop” (Number 4 in the States and Number 1 in Canada) and the album Brother to Brother. Subsequent singles performed respectably but he didn’t have another significant hit until 1981 with “Living Inside Myself” (from the album Nightwalker), which reached Number 5 in the U.S. While his A&M albums were soft rock affairs, when his released the album Black Cars on Polydor in 1984, his sound was tougher, embracing both new wave and AOR. The title track and the album were Top 5 hits in Canada. “Hurts to Be in Love”, his 1985 single, reached Number 6 in the U.S. Later albums saw him move in different musical directions, still maintaining a chart presence in Canada and entertaining his loyal following. However, Vannelli didn’t achieve the same commercial success that he experienced in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

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