The Untold Truth Of Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli gave many people across the globe an Easter gift on April 12, 2020, when he performed in Milan, Italy's empty Duomo cathedral for a concert called "Music for Hope." Bocelli, who hoped to inspire the public amid the coronavirus crisis, said about his passion for the event in a voiceover to introduce the concert, which was videotaped and uploaded to his official YouTube channel, "On the day in which we celebrate the trust in a life that triumphs, I'm honored and happy to answer 'Si' to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan."

Bocelli also explained how his message of hope goes beyond religion and belief, reiterating that it was for everyone who needed to feel closer together. He shared, "Thanks to music, streamed live, bringing together millions of clasped hands everywhere in the world, we will hug this wounded Earth's pulsing heart."

Not only was the concert's message profoundly moving, but it also acts as a reminder of Bocelli's incredible life story. And in light of the event, some fans might be wondering how a boy from Lajatico, Italy, who was blind by the age of 12, became one of the world's greatest opera singers and a voice of hope during this global pandemic. We reveal the performer's inspiring tale after the jump.

Andrea Bocelli suffered a life-changing accident

When Andrea Bocelli was born in Italy in 1958, doctors diagnosed him with congenital glaucoma, a condition that causes "high fluid pressure" in the eye, leading to "damage of the eye's optic nerve," per WebMD. However, Bocelli grew up with the ability to see color and light in his right eye, until an accident at age 12 changed his life forever. "As a child, I was very lively and uncontrollable, I loved playing football and one day during a match, I was hit violently in the face with a ball on my right eye, the only one which I could see light and color with," he explained to The Telegraph. "The doctors tried to cure me with various operations and they even used leeches but there was nothing that could be done."

It's important to note that Bocelli does not view his vision loss as an obstacle, as he reiterated in an interview with Radio Times. The Italian tenor was careful to correct any misunderstanding there might be about his position and pointed out that, just like any sighted person might, he enjoys riding horses on his farm in Tuscany. "You may not know this but in the Italian military, soldiers are taught to jump obstacles blindfolded," he explained.

Andrea Bocelli has a message for his critics

Andrea Bocelli has had a remarkable career and sung for some very high-profile audiences. He sang for the queen, other royalty and dignitaries in Europe, and audiences all over America, according to Radio Times. Bocelli even sang for Pope John Paul II in 2000, on the same day his father died despite being grief-stricken, saying of the experience, "That was one of the situations when keeping my emotions at bay was critical."

Making matters even more impressive? He also won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe and numerous Grammy nominations.

Despite Bocelli's success, some opera buffs have compared him to a pop singer instead of a genuine artist, and this disparaging opinion bothers Bocelli, according to the Radio Times. "People sometimes find the abilities of another extraordinary because they cannot comprehend their own extraordinary inability," he quipped about his haters.

Despite the star's apparent annoyance, he takes the criticism in stride with this nugget of wisdom. "The important thing is to be convinced that you have done something artistically meaningful," he reasoned. "The objective of music is to reach people's hearts and to make the human soul more receptive – more fertile – so other seeds can grow."

Andrea Bocelli's has a blended family

Andrea Bocelli has been married twice in his life. His first marriage was to Enrica Cenzatti, and together they had two sons, Amos and Matteo. Bocelli later separated from Cenzatti in 2002, and in that same year, he met his manager, Veronica Berti. The two welcomed a daughter named Virginia in 2012, and they wed in 2014. The opera singer wasn't worried about getting hitched again, telling the Daily Mail, "Naturally, when two people feel like we do, they want to make it a permanent arrangement."

Bocelli's wife and daughter are close with his ex and sons, and Berti joked that her daughter is in good hands with all the men around her, quipping to Hello! magazine, "With a dad and two brothers she will have very attentive bodyguards." It probably doesn't hurt that Bocelli's first wife lives next door to the couple on their estate in Forte dei Marmi, a seaside town in Tuscany, allowing the siblings to grow up together. 

Whatever works, right? It sounds like Andrea Bocelli is surrounded by a lot of love.