Andrea Bocelli was honored with the 2,402nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Leron Gubler, President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, presided over the ceremony. Guests included David Foster and Pascal Vicedomini. The Adderley School for the Performing Arts, under the direction of Janet Adderley, performed at the ceremony.
7000 Hollywood Boulevard on March 2, at 2009.
Andrea Bocelli was born on September 22, 1958 and grew up at the family farm in Lajatico. His parents are credited for having encouraged young Andrea’s musical talent, allowing him to start studying the piano from the age of six. Later his musical passion would extend to the flute and the saxophone but it was in his voice that Andrea discovered the ideal instrument and this was the beginning of the formative process which would produce Bocelli, the star, “a modern but old fashioned tenor” (as he likes to describe himself). At the age of 14 he won his first song competition. After he finished secondary school, he studied law at the University of Pisa and graduated as a Doctor of Laws.
In 1996, Bocelli was invited to sing a duet with English soprano Sarah Brightman. Changing the title lyric of the song “Con te Partiro” to “Time to Say Goodbye”, they re-recorded it as a duet with members of the London Symphony Orchestra. The single debuted atop the German charts, where it stayed for fourteen weeks. He topped the Spanish singles chart in 1996 with the “Vivo Por Ella” duet with Marta Sanchez. The same year, Bocelli recorded “Je vis pour elle” as a duet with French singer Helene Segara. Released in 1997, the song became a hit in Belgium and France, where it reached #1 on the charts. To date, it is the best-selling single for Segara, and the second for Bocelli, after “Time to Say Goodbye.”
Bocelli made his debut in a major operatic role in 1998 when he played Rodolfo in a production of “La Boheme” in Cagliari. That same year he toured North and South America. His final concert of the tour at Madison Square Garden was sold out. Bocelli appeared as a guest on Celine Dion’s television special in which he joined Dion with their hit “The Prayer” from Dion’s album “These are Special Times.” The prayer won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was performed by Bocelli and Dion at the ceremony. When he toured the West Coast of North America with a final performance before 18,000 spectators at the Hollywood Bowl, actress Elizabeth Taylor stood by his side on stage while he sang “The Prayer.”
2000 marked a new milestone in Andrea Bocelli’s recording career: He starred in Puccini’s La Bohème, and also celebrated the release of the Verdi album. Bocelli combined his energies with those of Lorin Maazel, with whom he undertook a very special recording project: Sentimento, a collection of romantic pieces by composers such as Tosti, Denza and Gastaldon. The project was an enormous success earning Andrea a double nomination at the 2003 “Classical Brit Awards”, where he won both “Album of the Year” and “Best Selling Classical Album of the Year”.
Bocelli’s more recent projects include the demanding role of Andrea Chénier by Giordano and finally the most audacious and bewitching love story of all time, Bizet’s Carmen. In 2008, while his new album Incanto was a sell-out success, Andrea performed in Carmen at the Rome Opera, followed by Puccini’s Messa di Gloria in Padova, and then La Petite Messe Solennelle in the United States, directed by Placido Domingo.
In 2009, “My Christmas,” Bocelli’s first Holiday album was released and went on to become the best-selling Holiday album of the year. Bocelli also sang “White Christmas” in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and sang “Jingle Bells” on the Jay Leno Show with the Muppets. His rendition of “Silent Night” was chosen as the Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week for December 1, 2009. The Dr. Phil Show also aired a Christmas special featuring Bocelli singing with Natalie Cole.
Bocelli’s resume of awards and honors is too extensive to mention, but includes ECHO music awards for Best Single of the Year for Time to Say Goodbye, Best Seller of the Year for his album, Viaggio Italiano, Best Selling Classical Album for Ario – The Opera Album and Best Seller of the Year for Sacred Arias. He also garnered two World Music Awards for World Best Selling Classical Artist and for Best Selling Italian Artist and received Classical BRIT Awards for his “Outstanding Contribution to Music” and for “Best Selling Classical Album” and “Album of the Year” for Sentimento.
The Andrea Bocelli website www.andreabocelli.com has achieved over a million hits in one year.