Luciano Ligabue was born in Correggio, in the province of Reggio Emilia. Before becoming a noted singer he held various jobs in such areas as agriculture and the mechanical industry.
He entered the music world in 1987 when he founded the amateur band Orazero. He wrote several original songs for this band, and they competed with them in local and national contests. The following year the singer-songwriter and fellow Emilian Pierangelo Bertoli became the first to discover his writing talent, and included one of Ligabue's songs, "Sogni di Rock'n'Roll", in his new LP.