A Blind Child in a Small Town
Andrea Bocelli is a blind Italian musician who was born on September 22, 1958 in the small town of Lajatico, Italy. Although born with sight, he was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma and ultimately lost his sight completely at age 12. During a soccer game he was hit in the eye and suffered a brain hemmorage that ultimately caused his complete blindness.
Although he was born to a family of farmers and wine makers, Bocelli was interested in music from a young age. He began piano lessons at age 6 and continued on to learn six other instruments: flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, and percussion. Encouraged by his nanny, he began singing and by age 7 he could recognize most famous voices and was beginning to emulate them. At age 14 Bocelli won his first singing competition by singing "O sole mio" at the Margherita d'Oro in Viareggio. He later studied law at the University of Pisa, but performed in piano bars during the evening to earn money. He finished law school and actually spent a year practicing as a court-appointed lawyer.
A Career Shift
Caterina Caselli discovered Bocelli and encouraged him to make a demo tape. It was sent to the Italian Rock Star Zucchero in 1992. The resulting duet became a hit, and Bocelli accompanied Zucchero on his 1993 concert tour. He was offered a contract with Sugar Music in Milan. Bocelli's debut album, "Il mare calmo della sera" was released in April 1994. It placed in the Italian Top Ten and was certified platinum within weeks. He released a studio album nearly every year thereafter including: Bocelli (1995), Viaggio Italiano (1996-1997), Aria: The Opera Album (1998), Sogno (1999), Sacred Arias (1999), Verdi (2000), Cieli di Toscana (2001), Sentimento (2002), Andrea (2004), Amore (2006), Incanto (2008), My Christmas (2009), Passione (2013), Cinema (2015), and Si (2018).
Bocelli has recorded 15 solo studio albums, three greatest hits albums, and nine complete operas. Together they have sold over 90 million records worldwide.
People magazine voted Bocelli one of their 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998 and he also earned a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records for Sacred Arias, his classical album that simultaneously held the top three positions on the US Classical Albums charts. In 1999 he was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards, and his duet with Celine Dion titled "The Prayer" won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Bocelli was honored with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star on March 2, 2010 for his Live Theatre contributions.
He is well regarded by his peers, as well. In 2009 Elizabeth Taylor said "My mind, my soul were transported by his beauty, hsi voice, his inner being" after seeing his Hollywood Bowl performance. Celine Dion has stated "if God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli." Jazz singer Al Jarrea and producer David Foster have both declared Bocelli's voice to be "the most beautiful voice in the world." Oprah Winfrey announced on her talk show "when I hear Andrea sing, I burst into tears."
A Life Full of Love
Bocelli met his first wife, Enrica Cenzatti, at a piano bar during the start of his career while finishing college and working as law intern. They married on June 27, 1992 and had two children: Amos (February 1995) and Matteo (October 1997). They were seperated in 2002 but retain an amiacable relationship.
|Date of Birth:||22-09-1958|
|Net Worth:||$40 million|
|Ex. Wife:||Enrica Bocelli|
|Alma Mater:||University of Pisa|
|Profession:||Singer-songwriter record producer|
|Birth Place:||Lajatico, Italy|