Andrea Bocelli, grande ufficiale omri (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdrɛːa boˈtʃɛlli]; born 22 September 1958) is an Italian tenor, multi-instrumentalist and classical crossover artist. Born with poor eyesight, he became totally blind at the age of twelve following a soccer accident.
Since winning the Newcomers section of the Sanremo Music Festival in 1994, Bocelli has recorded thirteen solo studio albums, of both pop and classical music, two greatest hits albums, and eight complete operas, selling over 70 million copies worldwide. Thus, he is the biggest-selling solo artist in the history of classical music.
In 1998, he was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. In 1999, his nomination for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards marked the first, and so far only time a classical artist had been nominated in the category, since Leontyne Price, in 1961.The Prayer, his duet with Celine Dion for the animated film, The 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 3 positions on the U.S. classical albums charts. Five of his albums have since reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, and a record-setting 7, have topped the classical albums charts, in the United States.
With over 5 million units sold worldwide, Sacred Arias became the biggest-selling classical album by a solo artist of all time, and with just under 20 million units sold worldwide, his 1997 pop album, Romanza, became the best-selling album by an Italian artist ever, as well as the best-selling album by a foreign artist in Canada, and a number of other countries in Europe and Latin America. The album's first single, "Time to Say Goodbye", topped charts all over Europe, including Germany, where it stayed at the top of the charts for fourteen consecutive weeks, breaking the all-time sales record, with over 3 million copies sold in the country. He is widely regarded as the most popular Italian and classical singer in the world.
In 2006, Bocelli was made a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, and on March 2, 2010, he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for his contribution to Live Theater.