Written by Katerina Ioannou on June 24, 2019
“If God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli,” – Celine Dion
The above statement is a strong testament to the singing prowess of Andrea Angel Bocelli by another renowned singer. Andrea was born on 22nd September, 1958 in Lajatico, a town in Tuscany Italy. He is a renowned record producer, songwriter and singer but he is described by many as one who has the most beautiful voice in the world despite his disability.
His journey to becoming one of world’s famous singers began as a young boy when his mother discovered his immense passion for music. In his mother words, she confirmed that music was Andrea’s only comfort. Andrea learnt how to play the saxophone, trumpet, drums, guitar, and flute. These he learnt alongside his piano lessons when he was age 6. His nanny gave him a gift (the first record of Franco Corelli), which aroused his interest in becoming a tenor singer. By the time he was age 7, he had trained himself to recognize voices of great musicians in his time and he tried to emulate them.
After a soccer accident when he was young, Andrea was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma and he became completely blind when he was 12. Despite this disability, Andrea has never been one to slow down as it is on record that since 1982, he has to his credit – 9 complete opera, and 15 solo studio albums in both classical music and pop, and has sold over 90 million records and 3 greatest hits album.
Andrea Bocelli won his first singing competition when he was 14 where he sang “O sole mio” at the Margherita d’oro in Viareggio. He studied law at the university of Pisa after his secondary school education in 1980. He later proceeded to law school and spent a year as a court appointed lawyer.
The year 1992 was the beginning of his rapid rise to fame, when Zucchero an Italian rock star held a tenor audition when he wanted to make a demo tape of his song “Miserere” which he had earlier sent to Luciano Pavarotti. Pavarotti advised Zucchero to put Bocelli on the record after listening to the tape. Zucchero however persuaded Pavarotti to record the song alongside Bocelli. It eventually became a hit all over Europe. The following year, Bocelli accompanied Pavarotti to Zucchero’s European concert of that year and sang some selected solo in the concert such as Puccini’s “Turandot” an opera, and “Nessun dorma.” Sugar Music label found his performance impressive and gave him a contract after Caterina Caselli heard Bocelli’s performance of “Miserere” and “Nessun Dorma” at Zucchero’s birthday party.
Andrea Bocelli’s singing style and winsome character which rubs on those around him was described by many as unique and unrivalled. When different people describe their experience when they listen to Bocelli perform, they always feel completely drawn to his music. Elizabeth Taylor, a British American actress, who also doubles as Bocelli’s die-hard fan since he started his music career in the 90’s, described her experience thus “My mind, my soul were transported by his beauty, his voice, and his inner being. God has kissed this man and I thank God for it.”
Andrea Bocelli has been a recipient of many awards and honors some of which includes Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian republic, Grand officer of the Order of Merit of Duarte, Sanchez and Mella by Leonel Fernandez (Dominican Republic’s President) in 2009, to recognize his immense contributions to Culture and art. On the 2nd day of March 2010, Bocelli was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to Live theater 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.
Some of the numerous award received by Bocelli include Stanmer music festival winner of the newcomers sections, Echo music award for the best single in 1997 for his single “time to say goodbye,” Bambi award 1997, ECHO Klass best selling classical album in 1998, Golden Europa for classical music in 2003, Telegatto award for soundtrack of the series Cuore in 2002, and many more.
Bocelli was first married to Erica Cenzatti on the 27th day of June 1992 and the union was blessed with two children Amos and Matteo. They divorced in 2002 and he later got married to Veronica Berti who gave birth to Bocelli’s third and only daughter.
Bocelli is a passionate Soccer fan, and on several occasions, he has declared himself to be a strong and passionate fan of Internazionale Milan.
Andrea Bocelli has to his credit many studio albums, Extended Plays, opera recordings and video albums. Record also shows that he has authored and co-authored many works in Italian, Spanish, English and other languages which are testament to his multi-linguistic ability.
Andrea Bocelli derives immense pleasure in horse riding and he remains one man who has continued to bless the world with his gift, despite his disability.