Andrea Bocelli - Magnifico!
Okay - I get it - people (especially women) always pick the young hunks and the most handsome movie stars when it comes to the coveted title 'Sexiest Man of the Year' but come on! Have you folks seriously looked at this guy? Have you heard him sing?
I have to throw Andrea's hat into the proverbial ring even if it is too late for him to make 'the cut' - he has been voted into People's Top 50 Most Beautiful People - but I'm saying I am in Bocelli love. The guy just floats my boat although I may be a little prejudiced because he is totally blind. I can't help it. To have achieved as much as this man has achieved and to have made such beautiful contributions in the world of music - belissimo!
Photo Wikicommons by Elya
Andrea Bocelli was born in Tuscany to Eli and Alesasandro Bocelli who sold farm machinery and a bit of wine, most notably Bocelli Chianti. He grew up on a farm and is said to have always been highly motivated and charmed/captivated by music. He was born with glaucoma although it took a bit of time to discover what the problem was with his eyesight. He was taken to many doctors before someone actually figured out what the diagnosis was. Then in 1970, when he was 12 years old, he was playing goalkeeper in a soccer game and received a blow to the head which left him permanently blind.
From such tragic circumstances, however, Andrea went on to pursue music as his passion. He had begun playing piano at age 6 but then also later learned to play harp, guitar, drums, flute, saxophone, trumpet and trombone. Pretty impressive! He also sang and was regularly requested to perform for friends and family - something he felt very comfortable doing because of the response he always received. He says that he always felt 'destined' to sing.
In 1980, he went on to college and became a court-appointed lawyer, studying at the University of Pisa. He spent 1 year working as a lawyer and then decided to try his hand at singing. In order to earn money, he played in the evenings in piano bars and clubs. There, he met his future wife, Enrica in 1987.
From these humble beginnings, in 1992, everything changed. The Italian rock star Zucchero was holding auditions for tenors because he needed to make a demo tape of the duet Miserere , co-written with U2's Bono in an attempt to get Pavarotti to record the song. Andrea was one of the auditioners and recorded the song, which then went to Pavarotti. Pavarotti is reported to have told Zucchero to use Andrea for the song and was most impressed with his voice, wanting to know who he was. Zucchero eventually sang the duet with Pavarotti and the song was a smash hit. However, when Zucchero went live on tour, the crowd began going wild to hear the song and Andrea Bocelli was invited to sing it in place of Pavarotti. He likewise was a sensation and a solo spot was created in the concerts for him.
Andrea and Pavarotti eventually met and became friends and when he was invited to sing at one of Pavarotti's annual charity gala concerts, his career further blossomed. He began singing with many popular stars such as Bryan Adams and Al Jarreau. He sang before live audiences but in front of televised audiences numbering tens of millions and his popularity began to grow.
He began his recording career in 1993 when he signed with a Milan-based record company, Sugar Records. In 1993, he also entered the prestigious Italian Sanremo Music Festival and won with the highest marks ever recorded in the 'New Entrants' category. He returned in 1994 as was the custom for the winner and entered the main competition, again coming away with a record scoring. He then released his debut album Andrea Bocelli which hit the Italian Top Ten and went platinum in weeks.
His success became legend as he scored No. 1 singles and albums. His single Con The Partiro and Time to Say Goodbye smashed sales records in several countries. His albumin Bocelli (released in 1996) was awarded platinum status in all territories of release including sextuple platinum in Belgium, quadruple platinum in Germany (sold nearly 2 million copies), quadruple platinum in Holland and double platinum in Italy. Time to Say Goodbye was first sung with Sarah Brightman at a farewell match for the German boxing champion Henry Maske. She was so entranced with Andrea that she contacted him and they re-recorded the duet Time to Say Goodbye with members of the London Symphony Orchestra. The successful results speak for themselves! The single was released and shot to No. 1 where it stayed for 14 weeks. He also released another album (only released in Italy) called Viaggio Italiano . This along with Andrea Bocelli and Bocelli were more operatic in style but his album Romanza planted him firmly into the pop music culture.
In 1997, Andrea released his Romanza album which further promoted his success. This album had the now famous Time to Say Goodbye duet with Sarah Brightman and then in 1999, he released the album Sogno which featured the famous duet with Celine Dion The Prayer . This album sold more than 10 million copies and received a Golden Globe award that led to Andrea being nominated for a Grammy as 'Best New Artist' .
By now, Andrea had definitely become more than famous and he went on to produce in 1999 Sacred Arias, Verdi in 2000, Requiem and Cieli di Toscana in 2001, which were in his operatic tenor style. In 2002, he again returned to his pop style with the album Sentimento and then in 2004, Andrea hit the market followed by Amore in 2006. Along came The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere in 2007, Incanto in 2008, and finally My Christmas in 2009, which went on to become the best-selling holiday album of the year.
Andrea Bocelli Trivia
- He is totally blind since the age of 12 due to glaucoma and then a blow to the head during a soccer game when he was playing goalkeeper
- He studied law and was a court-appointed lawyer studying at the University of Pisa
- He is a Virgo - born September 22, 1958
- He worked as a bar pianist to pay for opera singing classes
- He is an opera star
- He has 2 children, boys, Amos and Matteo
- He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having simultaneously held the No.1, 2 and 3 positions on the US classical album chart
- He was named as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998
- He met his wife Enrica at a piano bar where he was playing, they married in 1992 and divorced in 2002
- He has a fiancé, Veronica Berti but will probably not marry because of his Roman Catholic beliefs
- He has sung for The Pope
- He has sung for Presidents Clinton and Bush, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Caroline to name a few
- He has received ECHO music awards for 'Best Single of the Year' and 'Best Seller of the Year'
- He has received awards for 'Best Italian Singer', 'Best Classical Interpretation', 'Best Selling Classical Album', 'Album of the Year', 'World's Best Selling Classical Artist', 'Best Selling Italian Artist', and 'Favorite Specialist Performer' to name a few
Summing Up Andrea Bocelli
Sigh. I realize that I am slightly prejudiced. I just have never been able to help myself. The man is gorgeous. The man's voice is gorgeous. I routinely drift off to sleep listening to his music because well, his voice is just heavenly. I have read many criticisms of his voice in the operatic vein, however, I see things a little differently I suppose. I value the opinions of such greats as the people he sings with such as Pavarotti and Sarah Brightman and I have always felt that if he is good enough for these people, he most definitely must have talent!
I saw a Barbara Walters special once with Andrea Bocelli and they showed some clips of him performing in an opera and how totally independent he was. He refused to be taken out to his 'mark' and even though in the course of his performance, he was required to back up unassisted and 'find' a cement seat and sit down, he did it and did it beautifully.
I look at him and think what a beautiful man, inside and outside. He does not seem to have all the trappings of fame and fortune though he could - he is famous and he is more than successful. Yet, whenever anyone sings with him, the first thing I notice is the respect; the second thing I notice is the obvious affection and endearment that he engenders in performers both male and female. That says a lot to me about his character and despite his blindness, despite his trials in life, I see only one of the sexiest men in the world!
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on July 05, 2012:
Suzanne - too hilarious - and I think there is a long, long line....the man just does it for ya eh???
Suzanne Neal on July 05, 2012:
I first heard Andrea Bocelli sing at an ice skating performance, I believe it was "Stars on Ice". I did not know who was singing or the words . I searched from Denver to Detroit"' but no one was. Helpful in finding who he was. I even called Stars on Ice,! Many years later, I was thumbing through a current People Magazine.
There he was! I instinctively knew that it was HE WHO I HAD BEEN SEEKING,
If iI knew he was separated from his wife, I would have found him, and attempt to make him mine.
I can not explain his voice or anything else about him. All I know is that I would have liked to have had his babies. He is a delicious torment to Me!
elizabeth on February 22, 2012:
Hadn t heard him sing for a while. But I m hooked npw.then again at celines concert in january at caesars palace. So beautiful! I love him.
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 26, 2012:
I'm right there with you Savana - oh wait - I'm an old lady too!
savana on January 25, 2012:
I am a romantic old lady and he is Andrea! Nothing else need be said! Except, old ladies fall in love too!!
jschach on January 14, 2012:
Bocelli is so amazing!! Awesome hub!
ccm on January 09, 2012:
omg, i am so over the top in love with him right now! i don't know what to do, i am crazy!! he has gotten better looking with age and his smile is so sweet. im so jealous of his girlfriend and that she is pregnant with a girl. maybe he is really mean and gross! i mean his wife left him right? i don't know why? mmmmmm
Nan Mynatt on December 28, 2011:
Thanks for the videos and his music. I recently wrote an article on him as interviewing the artist. He was featured on the Chicago TV WTTW, and will be in Chicago in 2012 for a concert on 12/2/2011. The tickets start at $500.00 per person and I plan to go and see him in person. I do want to make one correction on his 1st wife, he did not divorce her. He still lives in the same area in a hotel that was refurbished into a studio for his recordings. His finance is now pregnant with their child, a baby girl that is due this spring. His finance is also his manager and they seem to be so in love. He is magnetic, and I think that it has something to do with his Italian decent. He is truly one of a kind.
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on December 27, 2010:
Oh Gloryvetten - you are a fan too! That makes me so happy. I absolutely adore him and his music. What a talented, enchanting man he is~ Thanks so much for dropping by and will have to check out your piece as well~!
gloryvetten from Long Island on December 26, 2010:
I just wrote a piece on how his music has impacted my life..Thank you for writing this,I enjoyed learning more about my angel. I love him too!
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on November 29, 2010:
Thanks Kim for stopping by and enjoying him with me. If I wasn't already in love, my heart might be broken! He is a beautiful man and gotta love that voice....he is the only singer that can make me cry.
Kim Lynn on November 29, 2010:
Beautiful voice, beautiful man. Enjoyed reading about Andrea. Thanks!
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on November 05, 2010:
FloBe - That I think is the whole reason that I love him so much - because I never have to really 'memorize' his words but just listen and enjoy. I make up all kinds of things to the words and my husband laughs and laughs but it is the voice - oh my. And the sexy man behind it all. If you ever watch him on specials or buy his DVD's, people just love him because he has such charisma. Add the voice and I'm so gone!
Flo Belanger from British Columbia, Canada on November 05, 2010:
I love Andrea's voice! Even though I don't understand the words, I hear the meaning in the music. Loved your hub
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 21, 2010:
Thanks - gotta love him...I could have put on more and more of his songs but had to stop myself!
katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on January 21, 2010:
Beautiful rather than sexy I'd say, with all its implications even tho he is male.
Thanks for the music collection and the history, well done.
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 21, 2010:
This hub took me longer than most because I was falling in love with him all over again trying to find the right vids on youtube....sigh - I could have put on 100! Bob loves him too so I'm safe. We put him on the other night when we went to bed and even Griffin was listening. At least he didn't try to sing - Griffin, not Bob!
Holle Abee from Georgia on January 21, 2010:
Wow - he's a hunk!! Thanks for introducing me to this guy! He could sing me to sleep anytime! lol
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 20, 2010:
Thank you for confirming my theories....I just love him - he just seems to attract you like a magnet and I am slightly prejudiced since one of my sons is legally blind but his music....sigh.. Thanks so much for stopping by!
raven1967 from Atlanta, GA on January 20, 2010:
Good Hub Aki. I would have to agree with you, there is something very special about this guy. I also have heard those critics of his singing, but his voice is one of a kind and I'm no opera fan. He obviously touches a lot of people judging by his album sales. He makes you wish you could do something that good. My wife loves him too!
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 19, 2010:
Yep - I'm right there with ya - give me a glass of wine, a bubble bath and Andrea and I'm on my way to heaven!
blondepoet from australia on January 19, 2010:
Oh boy he can serenade me anyday I won't say no
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 19, 2010:
If you start listening to his music - sigh - it's all over...combine that with the face - sigh...I'm hopeless. Seriously though, I could have put on more youtube vids and been happy to sit here all night and listen to them even though I have them all on my ipod - I especially love that he is singing mostly in Italian because I don't have to know the words and I can sing anything I want - I just make it up and roll in the voice! Did I say sigh? Thanks for reading! He is a beautiful man - the very best kind.
ralwus on January 19, 2010:
This is some story and so well written. Thanks for introducing him to me. Now I am in love. He is quite talented and good looking as well. I can see why you would love him. thanks