Andrea Bocelli, born 22 September 1958) is an Italian classical crossover tenor, recording artist, and singer-songwriter. Born with poor eyesight, he became permanently blind at the age of 12 following a football accident.
Bocelli has recorded fifteen solo studio albums, of both pop and classical music, three greatest hits albums, and nine complete operas, selling over 80 million records worldwide. He has had success as a crossover performer bringing classical music to the top of international pop charts.
In 1998, he was named one of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People. In 1999, he was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards. “The Prayer”, his duet with Celine Dion for the animated film Quest for Camelot, won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category. With the release of his classical album, Sacred Arias, Bocelli captured a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records, as he simultaneously held the top three positions on the US Classical Albums charts. Seven of his albums have since reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and a record-setting ten have topped the classical crossover albums charts in the United States.
With five million units sold worldwide, Sacred Arias became the biggest-selling classical crossover album by a solo artist of all time, and with over twenty million copies sold worldwide, his 1997 pop album Romanza became the best-selling album by an Italian artist of any genre in history, as well as the best-selling album by a foreign artist in Canada and a number of countries in Europe and Latin America. The album’s first single, “Time to Say Goodbye”, was a duet with Sarah Brightman that topped charts across Europe, including Germany, where it stayed at the top of the charts for fourteen consecutive weeks, breaking the all-time sales record, with over three million copies sold in the country. The single went on to sell over twelve million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Bocelli was made a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2006 and, on 2 March 2010, was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to Live Theater.