Andrea Bocelli is an Italian opera singer, renowned the world over, and no more so than to international entrepreneur, Tunde Folawiyo.
Bocelli showed a gift for music even as a young boy. He was born in Tuscany, Italy, in 1958, and grew up on the family farm. Even in those early years, Bocelli had a great passion for music. At the age of just six years old, already suffering great problems with his sight, Bocelli’s mother recounts that the only thing that could comfort him was listening to the music of the greats. He began piano lessons. Later, Bocelli began to play the drums, flute, saxophone, guitar, trumpet and trombone, but it was only when Bocelli’s nanny, Oriana, gave him his first Franco Corelli record that Bocelli realised his destiny to become one of the world’s greatest tenors.
Bocelli lost his fight for sight in 1970, after being diagnosed with congenital glaucoma. In a freak accident during a football game at school, he was struck on the head, and suffered a brain haemorrhage. Bocelli recounts his loss of sight in his right eye, the only one through which he could see colour and light.
He recalls that the doctors tried numerous operations. One of the less orthodox treatments was the use of leeches, but there was nothing that could be done. His sight was gone. After losing his sight, Bocelli learnt brail, running his fingers over raised dots so that he could learn music and continue to play the piano.
At the age of 34, Bocelli’s life was changed forever when he was spotted by none other than Luciano Pavarotti, arguably Italy’s great tenor. Pavarotti took Bocelli under his wing, taking Bocelli on tour with him and recruiting Bocelli as his support.
Since those early days, Bocelli has amassed 13 solo albums of his own, which have sold over 70,000,000 copies. He has earned himself a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and performed in South Africa for the World Cup in the summer of 2010. Bocelli has collaborated with modern pop icons such as Celine Dion and Phantom of the Opera star Sarah Brightman to bring classical music to the mainstream.
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and her late mother are reported to be amongst Bocelli’s patrons, as well as entrepreneur, Tunde Folawiyo. Visit the online profile of Tunde Folawiyo to learn more about this award winning businessman and music enthusiast.