Norma Sabrina Salerno (born 15 March 1968), also known in her singing career as Sabrina and Sabrina Salerno, is an Italian singer, model, actress, TV-hostess, and record-producer. In her career she has sold over 10 million worldwide, with several international hits, and 9 top-twenty singles in Italy, of which one number-one. She has won a World Music Award.
After winning a beauty contest in her native region, Liguria, Sabrina started modelling, and in 1984 made her television debut in the Italian prime time show Premiatissima on Canale 5. The following year, her debut single "Sexy Girl", sung in English, was released. Produced by Claudio Cecchetto/Joseph Paduano, it became a top 20 hit in her native Italy as well as in Germany.
In late 1987, she released her first album, Sabrina, which was entirely sung in English. In addition to "Sexy Girl", the album included Sabrina's international top five hit "Boys (Summertime Love)" (#1 in France, Switzerland and Spain, #3 in the UK Singles Chart) which has sold more than 1.5 million copies to date worldwide, and "Hot Girl", a top 20 hit in some European countries. The video for "Boys" showed Sabrina dancing in a swimming pool wearing a bikini, as she was dancing her bikini top kept slipping down revealing some nipple. This trick would become a frequent element of her subsequent music clips and live performances.
In 1988, Sabrina received "The Best European Singer" award during the Festivalbar event, and enjoyed another European-wide summer hit with the single "All of Me (Boy Oh Boy)" (produced by Stock, Aitken & Waterman). Later in that year, her second album, Super Sabrina, was released, and she established herself as a European sex symbol thanks to the raunchy videos that accompanied hits such as "My Chico" (#1 in Italy) and "Like a Yo-Yo" (produced by Giorgio Moroder). The latter became the TV theme of Odiens, a very popular Italian Saturday prime time TV show, in which Sabrina also starred.
Thanks to the success of the albums and her sexy image, she was invited to perform in several European TV shows and concerts such as the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1988. Another famous performance was in 1989 at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, where fifty-thousand people gathered over three days to enjoy Sabrina's show and music. In 1989, she starred in the Italian movie Fratelli d'Italia directed by Neri Parenti, with actors such as Christian De Sica, Jerry Cala, Massimo Boldi, and released a remix album called Super Remix, as well as a new single, "Gringo".
In 1990, Sabrina was the hostess of the weekly prime time TV show Ricomincio da 2 with Raffaella Carrà on Rai Due, and appeared on the popular music show Festivalbar with a new single called "Yeah Yeah". 1991 marked a turning point in Sabrina's career: she performed a duet with Italian singer Jo Squillo in singing "Siamo Donne", her first release in the Italian language. They performed together at 1991's Sanremo Music Festival to much acclaim. Sabrina's third studio album, Over the Pop, was released the same year, and for the first time she was allowed to co-write and produce some of the songs. Sabrina's desire for independence and distancing from her sexy image led to conflict with her management. As a result, the album promotion was interrupted and only one more single, "Shadows of the Night" was released off it.
A brand new single, "Cover Model", was released in France and Italy with only limited success. Sabrina parted ways with her label and management, a decision that led to a four-years hiatus in her career. In 1995 she was able to come back to show business, co-hosting some Italian TV shows and releasing with an independent label two new singles, "Rockawillie" and "Angel Boy", which were minor hits in Italy and Scandinavian countries.
In 1996 she established her own recording studio in Treviso with her then-husband Enrico Monti and released her first Italian language album, Maschio Dove Sei in which she collaborated with Massimo Riva (Vasco Rossi's guitarist and longtime friend), who added a more mature pop/rock influence to Sabrina's music. The album and its two singles, "Fatta e Rifatta" and the title-track "Maschio Dove Sei", were surprisingly acclaimed by the critics, but turned out a commercial failure due to a lack of promotion and distribution. Supposedly disillusioned by the "flop" of this album, Sabrina focused her attention onto other projects. The same year then saw her theater debut with the comedy I cavalieri della Tavola Rotonda, playing the role of Morgan le Fay, and after a two year stint she then hosted the game show Il mercante in fiera on TMC.
In 1998, after the success of her stage debut, Sabrina was cast in a new comedy called Uomini sull'orlo di una crisi di nervi which was also very successful, but during the production she suffered a broken knee and was unable to continue. She had recovered by the summer and could host the TV show Cocco di mamma on Rai Uno. In this show she had the chance to sing some Italian and international "summer hits" of the past, and these performances led to her commencing a music comeback. The same year she was in the cast of Italian music band 883's debut movie, Jolly Blu, and of the sit-com Tutti gli uomini sono uguali airing on Italia 1.
In 1999, Sabrina released a new album, A Flower's Broken, in Italy and Spain but, although an early curiosity was evoked by the music video accompanying the new single "I Love You", both the album and the single were unsuccessful. She was a guest on the British TV show Eurotrash where she performed her new single "I Love You". The album's music label RTI Music was being sold (at the same time of the album's release), and all marketing and promotion was stopped.
The year 2001 saw Sabrina's comeback to theatre with the musical Emozioni that received very good reviews from critics; with this show she toured Italy for almost three years and the cast included Vladimir Luxuria. In 2002, Sabrina hosted another TV show on Italia 1 called Matricole & Meteore, in which she travelled the world in order to uncover the current situations of former stars such as Shannen Doherty, Al Corley, Gary Coleman, Jimmy Sommerville, Charlene Tilton and others.
In 2005, Sabrina starred in the independent film Colori that premiered at the Salerno's Independent Cinema Festival, where she won The Critics' Choice Awards as best actress. Sabrina also took part in ITV's Hit Me Baby One More Time where she sang the songs "Boys" and the Sugababes' "Hole in the Head". In November that year, Sabrina performed the songs "Boys" and "All of Me" in the Russian concert Дискотека 80-х. The following year, Sabrina released (but only through her own web site) a new song called "I Feel Love (Good Sensation)".
In 2007, Sabrina toured throughout the French Zénith venues with all her old hits, and also her own cover version of the disco song "Born to Be Alive", premiered at her MySpace page. In 2008, Sabrina toured again throughout France with the nostalgia tour RFM Party 80 organized by the French radio network RFM. In August the same year, performed in Poland in a concert of stars of the 80s, together with Kim Wilde, Samantha Fox, Sandra, Thomas Anders (ex-Modern Talking), Limahl, and Shakin' Stevens. This concert was a part of the Sopot Festival 2008 presented live on Polish channel TVN. In October 2008 Sabrina published her first official greatest hits album in continental Europe, called Erase/Rewind. It included new versions of her hits, as well as several new recorded tracks and cover versions.
On 15 June 2010 a cover version of the Blondie's hit "Call Me" was released by Sabrina and British singer Samantha Fox. The single peaked at #4 in the Italian Dance Singles Sales Chart on the first week of July. During the summer of 2010 she hosted the TV show Mitici 80! on Italia 1. Sabrina has currently finished shooting a film in France directed by Frèdèric Forestier and produced by Thomas Langmann, and from February to May 2012 she will be on tour in France, with the show RFM PARTY in the French Indoor Stadiums Zeniths. At the RFM Party shows she performed a cover of Princess Stéphanie de Monaco's 1986 hit "OURAGAN". It is rumoured that she will be releasing the single with an upcoming new album. Sabrina is also credited as a record producer: she owns a recording studio which was used by Sade, Simply Red, Vasco Rossi, and many others. She also runs a management agency, called New Boys Productions, and she manages some song and dance acts.