Sunny Aquilina

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Sunny Aquilina

Sunny Aquilina (1 April 1946 - 17 November 2016) was a Maltese writer and songwriter from Cospicua.

He was the eldest in a family of nine children. He studied at The Lyceum, MCAST, St Michael’s College of education and the University of Malta. He also attended a summer course in painting, ceramics, and history of art at the Accademia di Belle Arti Pietro Vanucchi in Perugia in 1981.

He was an art teacher in the Primary schools. He started to play clarinet with the St George’s Band Club of Cospicua in 1957. He was a bandsman for over forty years and a committee member too. He served on various boards and judging panels for song festivals, literary and art competitions.

He wrote an Oratorio, Tota Pulchram, in Maltese with music by M.Camilleri which was performed at the Cospicua's collegiate church. He also wrote a cantata with music by Andrew Calleja for Our Lady of the Lily Band of Mqabba.

Together with Jason Paul Cassar, Aquilina wrote many songs for popular local singers. In 1995 they wrote two songs for the Festival Nazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija L-Isbaħ Żmien sung by Debbie Scerri and Idejja t-Tnejn sung by Chiara Siracusa. In 1998, Aquilina and Cassar won 2nd place in the same contest with the duet Għal Xulxin sung by Adelina Attard and Renato Micallef. They also won 2nd and 3rd place in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza in 1997 and 1998.

Sunny was nominated as best lyricist in the Malta Music Awards in 1995 and 1998.

His greatest success came with the enchanting balled The One That I Love written by Jason Paul Cassar and sung by Chiara Siracusa. This song won the Malta Song For Europe Festival 1998 and obtained 3rd place in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest of 1998 held in Birmingham, UK.

In 2000 the song So Much sung by Adelina Attard took part in Varna, Bulgarija in the Song Contest Discovery 2000. In the same year, along with Jason Cassar, he won the Malta national selection for Eurovision once again with My Dream sung by Thea Garrett.

Sunny wrote and produced many scripts for radio, TV programs, newspapers and periodicals. He won various prizes in literary contests both locally and aboard, including Premio Citta di Valletta presented by President Ċensu Tabone in 1993.

Sunny Aquilina was married to Josephine nee Massa in 1969 and the have five children, Marcon,Noel, Christine, Lorriane and Karen.

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