media release

Laura Pausini – newest ambassador

Staefa, Switzerland, January 23, 2009

"Don’t do what you’re told. Do what you are. Me – I sing". These words capture the very essence of Laura Pausini – a mix of simplicity, enthusiasm and a love of life. They were spoken in front of thousands of people in the audience at the June 2007 concert in Milan’s San Siro stadium. It was enthusiasm that persuaded this internationally famous Italian singer to become an ambassador for Phonak’s Hear the World initiative.

"Listening means learning, by learning how to listen." Some more simple but effective words from Laura Pausini, which she will carry with her as an ambassador for Hear the World. She shares her commitment with many other big names from show business, music and culture. These include tenor Plácido Domingo, the conductor and orchestra of the Vienna Philharmonic, Amy Winehouse, international stars of pop and rock such as Annie Lennox, Rod Stewart and Michael Bublé, and photographer Bryan Adams, all of them luminaries of the performing arts and now joined by Laura Pausini, whose outstanding triumphs are the result of her tenacity, passion and charisma. Now 34, she first became known to a wider public at the San Remo festival in 1993, and is now one of Italy’s most popular stars. In 2006, she won a coveted Grammy award, regarded as the Oscar of the music industry. In her 15-year career, she has sold more than 40 million records worldwide across all media, and is Italy’s most popular singer, with 12 CDs released. However, Laura Pausini wants to reach even more people, including the countless numbers who have hearing difficulties and who convinced her to join Hear the World.

As well as its Hear the World awareness initiative, Phonak has also established a not-for-profit foundation to make the public more aware of the social and emotional impacts of hearing loss. The foundation was set up in December 2006 at the same time as the Hear the World initiative to provide financial, technological and knowledge support for philanthropic organizations and projects helping people with hearing difficulties all over the world.

The foundation has already participated in 16 projects in Switzerland, Africa, Russia, Canada, Eritrea and Argentina, and in research projects at the universities of Montreal and Western Ontario. Phonak not only provides the foundation with financial and technological help but also makes hearing aids available at no cost. According to Phonak, Hear the World has established a dialog with the public to encourage them to take better care of their own hearing and to develop an awareness of how it feels not to hear properly. "We want to make the world aware of how to prevent hearing loss, and to show how the personal and social impact of this condition can be minimized. There is still a stigma attached to hearing loss, and Hear the World wants to help overcome this."

As Laura Pausini says: "Listening means learning, by learning how to listen."