Milva, one of Italy’s most Well-known singers in the’60s and’70s who also had many lovers overseas, has died at her home in Milan

ROME — Milva, one of Italy’s most well-known singers in the’60s and’70s who was also beloved by many fans abroad, died Saturday in her home in Milan. She was 81.

In announcing her death, Italy’s Culture Minister Dario Franceschini stated Milva’s versatile voice”stirred deep feelings in whole generations.”

Milva also starred as a stage actress, using a repertoire heavily based on the works of German playwright Bertolt Brecht. She frequently worked with Milan theater director Giorgio Strehler, who led her at one of Brecht’s signature works,”The Threepenny Opera,” a musical drama.

Born in 1939 as Maria Ilva Biolcati at Goro, a Po River delta town, she embraced the one-word phase name Milva. Together with Italian singers Ornella Vanoni and Mina, another actress who employed a first name only, Milva was regarded as one of the most significant Italian famous female singers.

Milva sold several 80 million records, the LaPresse news agency said, also listed 173 records. She was nicknamed”Milva that the Red,” for her voluminous red hair and”the Panther of Goro” for her vitality.

Germany, France and Italy all respected her with federal awards. Milva also had a following of enthusiasts from Asia, particularly in South Korea. She appeared 15 times at the San Remo festival, the annual contest to promote Italian tunes, joking after her 12th time that she never would triumph.

Among her hits was the song”Alexander Platz.” Composed by Italian songwriter Franco Battiato in 1982, it researched love in split Berlin during Cold War times, with its title taken from the famed Berlin square Alexanderplatz.

Other top Italian songwriters whose works Milva sang included Luigi Tenco and Fabrizio De Andre.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Saturday commended Milva as a”cultured, versatile and sensitive interpreter, much appreciated abroad.”

Milva, who announced her retirement in 2010 following over a half-century of acting, lived in Milan with a girl, Martina Corgnati. The singer’s former spouse, Maurizio Corgnati, was a TV director who died in 1992.

Music critic Mario Luzzatto Fegiz composed in Corriere della Sera that among Milva’s many talents had been the uncanny ability to sing almost any sort of music in almost any language after listening to it just after.

“She worked by memory,” Luzzatto Fegiz recalled. “In German, she wasn’t even able to order breakfast”

Milan’s Piccolo Theater Strehler stated it would host a wake on Tuesday in its own foyer and Milva’s funeral to follow will be personal. At a Facebook post, the theater paid tribute to her, saying she was a”indominable, sensitive, enthusiastic lady, an artist all heart and voice.”