The Sexiest Man Alive - Andrea Bocelli
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!