Billboard Biz reports: Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli married longtime companion Veronica Berti Friday, in the coastal town of Livorno, Italy. Bocelli, 55, had been dating Berti, 30, for 12 years, and the couple has a two-year-old daughter together named Virginia. The newlyweds married on their daughter’s second birthday.
Singer-songwriter Bocelli was born on September, 22 1958 with with poor eyesight, and eventually went blind at twelve following a soccer accident. The singer has recorded fourteen solo classical and pop albums, and nine full operas, selling over 80 million units worldwide. Bocelli’s 1997 pop album, Romanza, became the best-selling album by an Italian artist in history, and hisSacred Arias became the biggest selling classical crossover record ever, moving 20 million units.
Seven of Bocelli’s albums have reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, and a record-setting 10 have hit number one on the classical crossover albums charts in the U.S.
Bocelli was previously married to Enrica Cenzatti, but was divorced in 2002. His sons, Amos, 19, and Matteo, 16, attended the intimate ceremony Friday, along with other close friends and family. A small reception followed at the newlyweds’ home in Forte dei Marmi, near Pisa.
While some classical purists have criticized Bocelli’s vocal ability and technique, he’s been widely praised – During her Christmas Special for These Are Special Times concert in 1998, French Canadian singer Celine Dion said while introducing the tenor that “if God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli,” Oprah Winfrey had once commented, “when I hear Andrea sing, I burst into tears.” Late actress Elizabeth Taylor once said, “My mind, my soul were transported by his beauty, his voice, his inner being. God has kissed this man and I thank God for it.”Bocelli will perform next on May 30th in Sofia, Bugaria at Armeets Arena.