Barbara Cola was born in Bologna. Thanks to the Bolognese music producer Mauro Malavasi, she began collaborating at a very early age with his Clock Studio, studying voice and piano with the Gruppo Canticum directed by T. Bellanca Giusti, and acting at the Scuola Colli, directed by Emanuele Montagna. From 1989 to 1991 she worked with a number of groups in the Bologna area, at times as a songwriter. In 1992, in Bologna, she met Gianni Morandi. After moving to Rome, she became a vocalist in the band that accompanied the singer during the Morandi Morandi Tour (1993-94), and performed as a soloist, interpreting “Brava” by B. Canfora. This 300-date tour included stops in Italy, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Canada, and the U.S.A. In 1994, Cola released her first album, BARBARA COLA (Penguin/Bmg), featuring "In Amore" (P.Panella/ B.Zambrini), sung with Morandi, who decided to present this song at the 1995 San Remo Festival in a duet with the young Cola. For the Premio Colonna Sonora 1995, awarded to Alberto Sordi, who was present at the event, Cola played the piano and sang one of the songs composed by the great actor, "Amore amore amore". In November1995 she was a special guest in the show, DallAmericaMorandi (with Gianni Morandi and Lucio Dalla) at Madison Square Garden in New York and the Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto. This was followed by the musical, Masaniello, directed by Tato Russo at the Teatro Bellini in Naples during the 1996-97 season, in which she played the female lead, Bernardina. In 1997, Walt Disney productions chose Barbara Cola to record the Italian version of the song, "Non lo Ammeterò 'Mai", that is sung by the character Megara in the animated feature-film Hercules. In the same year she participated in the Concert for the Eucharistic Congress held in Bologna, along with other artists such as Morandi, Lucio Dalla, Adriano Celentano, Bob Dylan and Michael Petrucciani, and performed the song “Imagine” by John Lennon in a worldwide telecast in the presence of Pope John Paul II. Luis Bacalov and Pasquale Panella wrote “Niente è come te” for her; this song is included on the soundtrack of L’avvocato delle donne with Mariangela Melato. Cola performed at the JAZZ GALA held at the Teatro Eliseo in Rome (1998-99 season), with the trombonist Enrico Rava, accompanied by the Eliseo Big Band under the artistic and musical direction of Tommaso Vittorini. She played Memory in the Euripedean tragedy Alcestis, directed by E. Montagna (part of the "Musica in scena" review). During the 2000-01 and 2002-03 seasons she was Lucia in the musical, I Promessi Sposi (Italian Music Awards Prize 2001), based on the novel by A. Manzoni and directed by Tato Russo. In addition, she collaborated with the singer-songwriter Andrea Parodi (Tazenda) and with him, accompanied by Mauro Pagani (PFM) among others, interpreted “Non potho reposare” (Teatro Dal Verme of Milan, 2002 season). In 2004 she performed I Rumori del tempo with the music of George and Ira Gershwin, accompanied by Rodolfo Maltese (Banco) on guitar in the review, JAZZ&IMAGE. In 2005 she began the Strettamente Tour in which she performed works from her repertoire as well as others by such Italian singer-songwriters as Sergio Endrigo, Luigi Tenco, Ivano Fossatti, and Fabrizio De André. In 2006 she participated with Dalla, Luca Carboni and the group Stadio in a concert for the Feast of St.Michael the Archangel, patron saint of the state police, and performed “La Preghiera del Poliziotto” with a string quintet featuring first violin Anton Berowsky. At the Auditorium Teatro Manzoni in Bologna in 2005 and in 2008 she interpreted various songs by Maestro Ennio Morricone accompanied by the State Police Band from Rome (directed by Maestro Maurizio Billi) and by the Chorus of the Teatro Comunale. Beginning in 2008-2009, with a trio composed of viola, semi-acoustic guitar and piano, she created the Progetto Live, On the Heart, in which she reprises selected songs of Annie Lennox, Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Lucio Battisti, Luigi Tenco and others. In 2010, with a band of musicians and vocalists, Cola renewed her show with songs from her repertoire and a variety of the greatest hits from the 1980s, including a rock/pop version of Alan Parsons' “Eye in the Sky”. In the same year she brought to the stage a theatrical-musical show titled Amori d'Italia (directed by Melissa Di Matteo) in which she sings in eight dialects and in Italian to recount L'AMORE in all its permutations, accompanied by the group Band Live, as well as two actors and a dancer. The show includes works by the songwriters Fabrizio De André, Roberto Benigni, Domenico Modugno, and Lelio Luttazzi. 
In 2011 she was the protagonist, along with Giampiero Ingrassia, in the Dino Scuderi musical, SALVATORE GIULIANO, in the role of Mariannina Giuliano, which after a triumphant debut at the Circuito del Mito, in Sicily, will reopen in the spring of 2012.