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The World's Greatest Tenors - Andrea Bocelli

Updated on December 21, 2012

World's Greatest Tenors - Andrea Bocelli


The World’s Greatest Tenors – Andrea Bocelli


Blind since the age of twelve, Andrea Bocelli’s albums have sold more than 75 million records worldwide. That makes him the largest selling artist in the history of classical music. A protégé of Luciano Pavarotti, he is often referred to as the fourth tenor.


I had the good fortune of hearing him sing in person once. He gave a concert in Detroit at the Palace of Auburn Hills, a basketball arena. I don’t recall the exact year but it was about 2005.


We had adopted a Russian orphan several years earlier and she had become fond of some of his recordings of Italian love songs. My wife and I took her to the concert fully expecting to have problems because she is ADHD and gets bored easily. She squirmed in her seat until he started singing some of his love songs. From then on she remained quiet.


The following song is an example of one of his Italian love songs.

Santa Lucia



Although Andrea Bocelli has recorded at least eight operas and has actually performed in the opera Werther in Detroit in spite of being blind, some critics have criticized his interpretation, phrasing and breath control. I have included his recordings of Nessun Dorma from Turnadot so that you can judge for yourself. Remember, however, that it is probably not fair to try to compare him to Pavarotti.



Andrea Bocelli was born in the village of La Sterza, Italy in 1958. Although blind from youth, he completed law school at the University of Pisa while performing in piano bars at night. His break came when he recorded a song with Pavarotti in 1992, which was an instant hit in Europe. Then in 1996, his recording of "Time to Say Goodbye" with Sarah Brightman, was an international success.



In 1998, Andrea Bocelli was named as one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People and in 1999, he was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards. His duet with Celine Dion, "The Prayer", won a Golden Globe Award and was also nominated for an Academy Award.


In her Thanksgiving Eve Special, Celine Dion introduced him with "If God had a singing voice, he would sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli". You be the judge.




To visit my complete list of the world’s best tenors along with limited biographical information and links to their individual Hubs, go to:

The Worlds Greatest Tenors


La Sterza, Italy where Andrea Bocelli was born and Pisa where he attended law school.

show route and directions
A markerLa Sterza, Italy -
56030 La Sterza Province of Pisa, Italy
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B markerPisa, Italy -
Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy
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C markerRome, Italy -
Rome, Italy
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    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Love this guy. We saw him live in Los Angeles, and didn't matter where our seats were because we were there to listen to him not watch him. I have many of his CD's.

      Voted up and awesome.