John Lewis'Christmas advert this year is not just a visual treat, but also an auditory delight, thanks to the music provided by world-renowned opera artist Andrea Bocelli. The 65 year old tenor performs a song called Festa, which means celebration, written and produced specifically for the advert.
Andrea, who hails from Pisa, Italy, expressed his joy at being part of the John Lewis advert, saying he was "delighted to take part in this wonderful and unique tradition of Christmas storytelling." But there's more to Andrea than his phenomenal career; despite being visually impaired since birth and becoming completely blind after a brain haemorrhage.
The vocal star managed to complete a law degree at the University of Pisa while performing music gigs on the side. After finishing his studies, Andrea kept on singing until a demo tape he made was heard by Italian rock star Zucchero.
Bocelli was invited on tour with Zucchero and Luciano Pavarotti also became a fan inviting him to perform at his annual charity gala concert 'Pavarotti International'. While singing in piano bars early in his career he met and married his first wife Enrica Cenzatti.
The couple separated in 2002 and share two sons Amos, 28 and Matteo, 26. Andrea has been married to his second wife and manager Veronica Berti for nine years.
Veronica, 39 first met Andrea the same year as he split from his first wife. In 2012 Andrea, then aged 54, became dad to his third child Virginia. Andrea lives in a former hotel in the charming town of Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany, with his wife and daughter.
All three of his children have displayed musical talents and play a role in the family business alongside his wife. Let's take a closer look at his star-studded family…
At 39, Veronica is much younger than Andrea and is also her husband's manager. The couple met at a party in 2002, she was 18 years old at the time and Andrea was reportedly newly divorced.
The blind singer was attracted to his wife-to-be's voice and "how her skin felt." He said the chemistry between himself and Veronica was instantaneous and on his official website describes her as his soulmate.
The loved-up pair have performed together on stage and in 2012 sang a lovely version of "Qualche Stupido" in front of a live audience. They've sung together many times since then.
Their extended family is reportedly very happy. The Daily Mail reports that Andrea's ex-wife gets along so well with Veronica that she once lived next door to the Bocelli's home in Forte dei Marmi, Italy.
Eldest son Amos
Andrea named his eldest son after Amos Martellacci, a man who mentored him in university so he could get his law degree. Amos, 28, has a degree in piano performance and accompanied his dad on the piano at the Sanremo Music Festival in 2013.
But according to Andrea's official website, engineering "is the field in which he is working to build a career." Amos also has bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from the University of Pisa and is reportedly pursuing a career as an aerospace engineer.
He's also on the board of directors for the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.
Famous son and Kardashian wedding
Matteo, 28, is a successful singer just like his dad and wanted to follow in his footsteps from a young age. In a 2018 interview, he said: "I was following my dad when I could, and I played the piano since I was 6 years old."
But as he grew up, he wasn't sure if he wanted to have a solo career because of his dad's amazing talent. However, it was the renowned music producer David Foster who convinced him to pursue singing.
During a 2021 chat, Matteo revealed: "It was only when I met David Foster that I really considered being a singer David has been extremely important in the development of my dad's career and, without him, I don't think I'd be on this path. He was the person who said to me, 'You have the skill and the technical ability; you should be on the stage singing.'"
At just 18, Matteo made his first public performance, singing "Verdi" at the Colosseum in Rome in 2017. Since then, he's released several singles and even teamed up with his dad for the beautiful ballad "Fall on Me" from his 2018 album Si.
In 2020, he put his own spin on a Disney classic – The Lion King's 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight', with the approval of original singer Elton John. Matteo has also performed a number of duets with his dad, including the hit 'Fall on Me' which featured in Disney's The Nutcracker and The Four Realms.
In 2022, reality star Kourtney Kardashian booked Matteo and his dad to perform at her wedding to Travis Barker. Matteo continues to find opportunities to sing with his dad.
He and his sister Virginia contributed to Andrea's 2022 holiday album, A Family Christmas. The trio also went on tour together to promote the album.
Virgina was 'singing opera songs'
Andrea also has a 12 year old daughter named Virginia. As an older dad, he's shared how the age gap between his second and third child has made him a better parent. "I think that becoming a father again now that I'm a mature man helped me be a less anxious, stronger parent, more capable of treasuring every moment with my children as they grow up next to me every day," he penned.
In a chat with The Times in September 2018, Andrea expressed that raising a daughter is "not that different from raising sons. We will share with her the same values that we did with them because I think the result of my sons is very good."
Virginia, last year, revealed she's a normal young girl who enjoys singing around the house. However, her dad's influence means she's "not singing typical children's songs. Instead, I was singing opera songs!"
She first sang publicly in December 2020 at the age of 8, performing a duet of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen with her dad during his Believe in Christmas live stream. Despite the age difference, she's very close to her older brothers.
She's previously mentioned how they give her advice: "Matteo told me, 'You should sing and do everything with no regret'." Like many celebrity kids, Virginia has also dabbled in modelling.
She recently strutted down the catwalk for the Italian brand Monnalisa. Besides, talented Virginia is a keen gymnast and bagged first place at the regional championship in Tuscany in April this year.
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