Dalla, 68, apparently died of a heart attack in a Montreux hotel after eating breakfast, according to Ph.D srl Music Management, which is based in his native city of Bologna, Italy.
Dallas, whose musical genres ranged from folk to jazz to classical, gave a concert Wednesday in the Swiss city known for its music and "was in fine form," said Pascal Pellegrino, the director of Montreux's "culture season." Pellegrino said the performance was warmly applauded and Dalla stayed on to chat with fans.
Dalla's haunting melody "Caruso" sold 9 million copies worldwide and was sung by the late opera great Luciano Pavarotti with Dalla at a 1992 concert in Modena.
Dalla toured abroad frequently, including in the United States, sometimes with another famed Italian folksong writer, Francesco De Gregori.