Profile of Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli In Concert
Andrea Bocelli. Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images

Born: September 22, 1958 - Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy

Quick Facts About Andrea Bocelli

  • In 1999, Bocelli's duet with Celine Dion titled "The Prayer" earned the pair a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. It also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. It also earned two Grammy nominations in 2000: Best Pop Colaboration with Vocals and for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.(Watch a YouTube video of Bocelli and Dion's "The Prayer.")
  • In 2005, Bocelli appeared on Sesame Street singing Elmo the lullaby, "Time to Say Goodnight" - a parody of "Time to Say Goodbye." (Watch a video of the performance on YouTube.)
  • In 1998, Bocelli was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.

Bocelli's Family and Childhood

Andrea Bocelli was born in the Italian town of Lajatico in 1950, to parents Alessandro and Edi. The family owned a farm, which also included a small vineyard. Bocelli's parents noticed his musical talents and entered him into piano lessons at the age of six. His love of music was well known throughout the family - his relatives always asked him to sing for them during family gatherings. Later, when asked why he became a singer, Bocelli replied, "I don't think one really decides to be a singer - other people decide it for you by their reactions." At just 12 years old, Bocelli was blinded during a soccer accident.

Bocelli's Education

After finishing his primary education, Bocelli began studying at the University of Pisa. However, he wasn't enrolled as a music major. He actually studied and graduated as a Doctor of Law. He worked as a court appointed lawyer for one year, before deciding to take a shot at a career in music. Bocelli studied music with Franco Corelli, and performed at nightclubs and piano bars to earn money to pay for his lessons.

The Start of Bocelli's Career

Due to a series of fortunate events, Bocelli's musical career began to skyrocket. When famed Italian rock singer Zucchero held tenor auditions for a song titled "Miserere", Bocelli submitted his demo tape. Zucchero intended for Luciano Pavarotti to perform, which he later did, but Bocelli's audition caught the attention of Pavarotti himself to which he said to Zucchero "Thank you for writing such a wonderful song. Yet you do not need me to sing it - let Andrea sing 'Miserere' with you, for there is no one finer." Afterward, when Zucchero toured Europe, Bocelli performed in place of Pavarotti and earned great fame.

Bocelli's Recording Career

After meeting and becoming good friends with Pavarotti, Pavarotti invited Bocelli to perform in his high-profile and star-studded annual charity gala concert. Bocelli earned critical acclaim and many new fans. In 1993, Bocelli signed with Insieme/Sugar and began his recording career. His first album, II Mare Calmo Della Sera debuted in the Italian Top Ten and later went platinum. His second album, Bocelli (1995), went double-platinum in Italy. Since beginning his recording career, Bocelli has recorded 22 albums, including one "best-of" album and a DVD of Pope John Paul II - all of which you will find below.

List of Andrea Bocelli's Albums

  • Il mare calmo della sera (1994)
  • Bocelli (1995)
  • Viaggio Italiano (1997)
  • Romanza (1997)
  • A Night in Tuscany (1997)
  • The Opera Album Aria (1998)
  • Sogno (1999)
  • Sacred Arias (1999)
  • Verdi (2000)
  • La Boheme (2000)
  • Verdi's Requiem (2001)
  • Cieli di Toscana (2001)
  • Sentimento (2002)
  • Tosca (2003)
  • Verdi's Il Trovatore (2004)
  • Andrea (2004)
  • Massenet: Werther (2005)
  • Amore (2006)
  • Credo (DVD) (2006)
  • Pagliacci (2007)
  • Cavalleria Rusticana (2007)
  • Under the Desert Sky CD/DVD (2007)
  • The Best of Andrea Bocelli - Vivere (2007)
  • Vivere Live in Tuscany (2008)
  • Carmen (2008)
  • Incanto (2008)