Italian pop singer Emma first topped her country's charts in 2010 with her debut EP after rising to fame as the first-place winner of the reality television show Amici di Maria de Filippi. Born Emma Marrone on May 25, 1984, in Florence, Italy, she initially rose to fame in 2003 as the first-place winner of the reality television show Popstars. In the wake of her success on television, she formed the pop trio Lucky Star with Laura Pisu and Columba Pane. In association with Universal Music, the trio made its commercial recording debut in 2003 with the single "Stile." The single was relatively unsuccessful, however, stalling at number 24 on the charts, and a few years passed before the girls got around to releasing their full-length album debut, LS3 (2006), which proved unsuccessful and marked the end of the ill-fated trio.
Emma subsequently teamed up with Antonio Tunno (guitar), Simone Melissano (bass), and DJ Corbella (turntables) in the group M.J.U.R., whose name was an acronym for Mad Jesters Until Rave. The group made its eponymous album debut in 2008 on Dracma Records, and once again, success proved elusive for Emma. She returned to reality television in 2010, appearing on the show Amici di Maria de Filippi and ultimately finishing the season as the first-place winner. In association with Universal Music, the former label of Lucky Star, Emma made her solo recording debut in 2010 with Oltre, a seven-track EP featuring material penned by Italian hitmakers Roberto Angelini, Federica Camba, and Daniele Coro. The EP topped the albums chart and spawned the lead single "Calore," which likewise topped the Italian charts. The follow-up single, "Meravigliosa," was also a hit. Her first album, A Me Piace Così, had no trouble selling copies upon release in late 2010; it was eventually certified two-times platinum.
Emma's second album, 2011's Sarò Libera, was a smash hit, reaching number one in Italy and spending over a year on the charts on its way to three-times platinum status. Also, two of its singles ("Non è l'Inferno" and "Cercavo Amore") hit number one in the process. Schiena, released in 2013, continued Emma's string of number one hits; it sold even better than Sarò Libera, especially when it was re-released in 2014 to celebrate her 2014 Eurovision appearance singing "La Mia Città." ~ Jason Birchmeier