ANDREA BOCELLI FACTS:
Genre: Opera, Classical, Pop
Hometown: Pisa, Toscana, Italy
Albums: Il Mare Calmo della Sera (1994); Bocelli (1995); Viaggio Italiano (1996/1997); Aria – the opera album (1997); Sogno (1999); Sacred Arias (1999); Verdi (2000); Cieli di Toscana 2001(); Sentimento (2002); Andrea (2004); Amore (2006); Incanto (2008); My Christmas (2009)
Awards: 7 World Muisc Awards, 3 Grammy Nominations
Hits: "Con te partirò"/"Vivere," "Time to Say Goodbye," "Ich lebe für sie," "Je vis pour elle"
Other: Blind since age 12.
With one of the most recognizable voices in the world, Andrea Bocelli has made great strides for the classical genre. Ever since he became a star in the early '90s, Bocelli has been a staple on adult contemporary radio and continues to record and release new music almost 20 years later.
Though he released his debut album in 1992, it was his second album, 1995's Bocelli that made him an international sensation. The record was especially popular in Germany, where it was certified four times platinum, but it was also a hit throughout Europe. It's not hard to see why, though. The record included a number of hits powered by Bocelli's dulcet tones including his version of the pop standard "The Power of Love" as well as "Vivo por lei."
Bocelli continued to popularize classical opera, and his 1998 release Aria: The Opera Album, probably did more for the genre than anything since. The sprawling record featured a number of songs on famous operas including "E lucevan le stelle" from Puccini's Tosca as well as "Musetta!...Testa adorata" from the classic opera La Boheme.
Soon after his opera album, Bocelli's career reached new heights. In 1999 he earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, which was virtually unheard of at the time for a classical musician. That same year, Bocelli saw considerable success thanks to his partnering with Celine Dion to record the song "The Prayer." Released for the animated film Quest for Camelot, the duo earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song as well as nominations for a Grammy and Golden Globe.
Thanks to the exposure given to him by "The Prayer," Bocelli quickly became a popular artist in the United States as well. Over the next decade he broadened his fan base while still performing in operas including Carmen and Incanto. Soon after he released the 2009 album My Christmas, which featured renditions of holiday favorites including "Jingle Bells" and "The Christmas Song," the latter was a duet with Natalie Cole.
Anybody who claims to not like opera likely hasn't heard Bocelli sing. With a likeable personality, a great story and an even better voice, there's no telling how long Bocelli can keep it up.
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