Andrea Bocelli on giants of rock Elvis Presley and Freddie Mercury

Andrea Bocelli performs 'Nessun dorma'

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Andrea Bocelli, who is currently on his UK and Ireland tour, has been congratulated on his 64th birthday today by his Instagram team with a touching picture. The Italian tenor is best known for opera singing but is a fan of some big rock stars too.

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Speaking previously with Express.co.uk, Bocelli said of Elvis Presley: “There is no denying that Elvis had a great talent. He possessed a pliant voice with extensive range and a soft and enveloping timbre. Plus, he was an extremely charismatic person.”

The King has so many hit songs over his 21-year professional career, so why did the Italian tenor choose the two classic ballads Love Me Tender and Can’t Help Falling In Love to cover in particular?

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Bocelli said: “It’s curious that they are both songs that have a long history behind them. In both cases, Elvis Presley’s versions are extraordinary and memorable. Yet I have the wishful thinking that I too had something to say, to add, artistically speaking, to the performance of these classics. The melody of Love Me Tender comes from a sentimental ballad from the time of the Civil War. It’s a song with roots that go back to the 1800s.”

On Queen, Bocelli enthused: “For sure, I greatly appreciate Freddie Mercury. A giant of rock music with an impressive vocal talent, as well as Queen and their immeasurable creativity, whose inspiration draws so much from melodrama. I find rock music itself entertaining and often very interesting, even if it’s not exactly my role to interpret this particular genre!”

Asked if Freddie Mercury’s Barcelona song with soprano Montserrat Caballé helped pave the way for his duet with Sarah Brightman, the 64-year-old agreed.

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Bocelli said: “Certainly, this duet by Mercury and Caballé held significant importance with regards to the evolution of classical music into the mainstream during those years. I don’t particularly like labels and, as I have said in the past, I find a certain ambiguity in the term ‘crossover’. Music can, and should, be enjoyed by all without needing to fit into a particular box!”

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