Born as Domenica Bertè in Bagnara Calabra, Italy on 20 September 1947, 'Mimi' (as she was known) spent her childhood in Macerata. In 1962, she convinced her mother to take her to Milan for an audition. She recorded her first albums as Mimi Bertè, but soon decided to change her name to Mia Martini. She released nine albums during the 1970's and represented Italy during the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Libera'.
Releasing two more albums in the early 1990's, she decided to retire in 1993 after a concert at the Teatro Ciak in Milan, which was recorded for the album 'In Concerto - Miei Compagni Di Viaggio'. The concert included an Italian version of Wuthering Heights, translated by Martini herself, entitled Cime Tempestose.
In 1989 she returned to the famous Italian Sanremo Festival with 'Almeno tu nell'universo', which won her the Critics Award and new success, the song remains an italian classic (with many cover versions). In 1992, she was back in the race at the Sanremo Festival with 'Gli uomini non cambiano', by Giancarlo Bigazzi and Beppe Dati. She won second place, allowing her to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest again, where she ended on fourth place with 'Rapsodia', which remains a Eurovision classic.
During the last few years of her life, she suffered from painful fibroids to the uterus, for which she took prescription medication. On 14 May 1995, her body was found in the apartment in Via Liguria 2, in Cardano al Campo. According to the coroner's report, her death was by cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of cocaine. Her body was cremated. In 2009, her sister cast doubts on this, accusing their father of violence against his first wife and his children and declaring that she'd seen Mia's body covered in bruises.