November 22, 2008 / 2:04 AM / 10 years ago

Singer Laura Pausini welcomes "Early Spring"

MIAMI (Billboard) - Laura Pausini is mad, and she’s not going to take it anymore.

Over tea at her South Beach hotel, the Italian singer, in Miami for a whirlwind promotion following stops in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, has her computer open to an article she wrote for Italian magazine Max.

“Stop Piracy!” the headline reads, followed by the subhead, “Kids, steal anything, but not my music.”

“We’ve all been idiots,” Pausini says, lamenting the sequence of events that has led to a music industry where CD sales are nearly halved. “Today, if you’re a kid, you’re an idiot if you pay for an album. But the solution is as simple as having servers block peer-to-peer sharing,” she adds, echoing an increasingly popular proposition.

When she’s not writing articles, Pausini speaks to her international audience through recordings and concerts.

“Primavera Anticipada” (Early Spring), the singer’s first album of previously unreleased material since 2004’s “Escucha,” came out November 11 in its Spanish version in the United States and Latin America. It features a bilingual duet with British singer-songwriter James Blunt.

The release marks the first time in Pausini’s career that an album’s Spanish version has preceded the Italian. The latter went on sale November 18 in Italy and Europe. All told, 42 countries worldwide will release the 14-track set by Pausini, who is Italy’s top-selling artist both domestically and abroad.

With more than 30 million albums sold worldwide, according to label Warner, Pausini continues to be an anomaly in the international pop world, sustaining careers in Italian and Spanish for more than a decade. Pausini records highly produced, lush albums, rich in instrumentation and full of complex arrangements. But mainly they are vehicles for a distinctive voice of bell-like luster and undisguised emotion.

During recent promotional work in Miami, for example, tears came to Pausini’s eyes every time she performed her new single, “En Cambio No.”

It wasn’t an act: Pausini wrote the song, with Paolo Carta and Nicolo Agliardi, after her grandmother’s death.

“It came from my desire to tell people to not be afraid to speak up,” Pausini says. “I’ve lived the pain of a goodbye and of realizing you haven’t said all you needed to say. Fortunately, when my grandmother died, I had told her everything.”

“Primavera Anticipada” is Pausini’s most personal album to date, and the one in which she has collaborated most in the songwriting, including the title track, which she sings with Blunt. The album was written during a four-year span in which Pausini went through major changes in life: her grandmother’s death; the death of a relative killed by a drunk driver; the deepening of her romantic relationship with her guitarist, Paolo Carta; and establishing a relationship with his children from a first marriage.

“This ‘spring’ I speak about in the album title is a metaphorical way to refer to many things, including the children,” Pausini says.

Pausini will tour heavily in 2009, beginning in March in Turino, Italy, with plans to hit the United States and Latin America in the fall.

Reuters/Billboard

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