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Laura Pausini, omri (Italian pronunciation: [ˈlaura pauˈziːni]; born 16 May 1974) is an Italian pop singer-songwriter and record producer. She debuted in 1993, winning the newcomer artists' section of the 43rd Sanremo Music Festival with the song "La solitudine", which became an Italian standard and an international hit, reaching the top spot on the Italian Musica e Dischi singles chart, as well as on the Dutch Top 40 and on the Flemish Ultratop 50. Her eponymous debut album was released in Italy on 23 April 1993 and later became an international success, selling two million copies worldwide.Its follow-up, Laura, was released in 1994 and confirmed her international success, selling three million copies worldwide. The first single from this album, "Strani amori", also became a domestic and international hit, reaching the top 5 on Italian, Dutch and Belgian main singles charts. During the same year, she released her first Spanish-language album, Laura Pausini, composed of ten adapted songs originally included in her previous works. The album was certified diamond by the Association of Phonographic and Videographic of Spain, making her the first non-Spanish artist to sell more than one million copies in Spain.As of today, she has released ten studio albums, an international greatest hits album and two compilation albums for the Hispanic and Anglophone market only, respectively. She mostly performs in Italian and Spanish, but she has also recorded songs in English, French and Portuguese. Her only English-language album, From the Inside, was released in 2002, but failed to satisfy commercial expectations both in North America and in the rest of the world. In 2006, her record Io canto was the best-selling album of the year in Italy.All of her albums earned the top-five on the Italian Albums Chart, and six of them reached the first position in Italy. Pausini has also released 14 top-ten singles in Italy, including five number-ones. In 2004, Allmusic's Jason Birchmeier considered Pausini's sales "an impressive feat for someone who'd never really broken into the lucrative English–language market". As of 2011, according to Warner Music Italy, Pausini had sold more than 70 million records, while according national Italian radio and television Rai she has sold about 45 million albums, compilations, singles and DVDs worldwide.During her career, she has won numerous music awards, including three Latin Grammy Awards, a Billboard Latin Music Award and four World Music Awards. In 2006 she also became the first Italian female artist to win a Grammy Award, receiving the accolade for Best Latin Pop Album for the record Escucha. She has been honoured as a Commander Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.