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ANDREA’S ANGLO-
ITALIAN ARMY

In the wake of Andrea Bocelli’s chart-topping U.S. and U.K. debut, Si, his first-ever #1 bow on either side of the Atlantic after 24 years of releasing albums, we turn the spotlight on the singer’s support team, based in Milan and London. 

Bocelli is signed to Decca U.K. for the world through a deal with Sugar Music, based in Italy. Filippo Sugar (pictured at right), who runs the ‎label, has been involved since day one. A&R responsibilities are shared by Sugar, Decca U.K. head Rebecca Allen and Universal Music Global Classics President/CEO Dickon Stainer, as well as Maverick’s Scott Rodger, who manages Bocelli in partnership with Andrea's wife Veronica.

For this project, the team enlisted Ross Cullum, a British composer/producer/writer/mixer. The record was produced by American veteran Bob Ezrin. The primary creative decisionmaker was, of course, Bocelli himself.

Decca Records Group U.K. includes Decca, Decca Classics and Mercury KX, plus affiliate label partners including Deutsche Grammophon.

Some historical context: Not since The Three Tenors made operatic voices part of pop culture in 1996 has an album from the classical world hit #1. Si is Bocelli’s 11th album to land in the U.K. Top 10. His last album, Cinema, hit #3 in 2015, the same chart peak that Cieli di Toscana reached in 2001. Three of his albums peaked at #4: Vivere—The Best of in 2007; Amore in 2006; and Sogno in 1999. His lone Top 10 single was a duet with Sarah Brghtman, “Time to Say Goodbye,” which hit #2 in 1997.

For those of you too young to remember or were too engrossed at the time in deciphering Jagged Little Pill, The Three Tenors was an opera power trio teaming Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo. The Three Tenors: In Concert 1994 went to #1 in 1996, two years after its release. It was the follow-up to 1990’s In Concert, which spent five weeks at #1 in September and October of 1996.

Surrounding Bocelli are (l-r) Dickon Stainer; Rebecca Allen; Mark Wilkinson, SVP UM Global Classics & Jazz; and Francesco Pasquero, Head of International at Sugar Music.

The occasion called for quotes from the principals, several of whom weighed in.

Andrea Bocelli: “Life really never ceases to amaze, especially those who are madly in love with it and love what they do, rather than stubbornly doing what they love. I would have never imagined to achieve this result in a country that nevertheless, loved me from the very beginning. Yet, beyond, well beyond the numbers and the charts what really counts are the affection and the esteem of an audience; what really counts are the handshakes, the smiles, the graces, the applauses, which often, as in this happy circumstance, are translated into results that go beyond the rosiest expectation. My heartfelt thanks to all those people who wanted to reward my latest effort. A big thank you also on behalf of my little, great Matteo who, in these days, has been living by my side, an indescribable experience shared with this extraordinary audience, to whom I owe the realization of a dream, which, as it rarely happens, has by far surpassed reality.”

Sir Lucian Grainge: “Andrea’s enduring success is testament to his boundless talent and he continues to demonstrate that great music knows no boundaries and defies genres.  We value our successful partnership with Sugar and are honored to continue working on Andrea’s behalf and look forward to his music continuing to inspire and entertain generations to come.”

Filippo Sugar: “Reaching #1 on the most competitive album chart in the world is an achievement that all of us at Sugar are truly honored to share with Andrea, with all of his family and all of the contributors to this wonderful album. The producer, Bob Ezrin, all of the writers of these exceptional songs, Andrea’s incredible management team headed by his wife Veronica, Scott and Maverick and all the very special friends at Decca and Universal. This is yet another milestone in the fantastic recording career of Andrea that began just over 24 years ago when my mother Caterina first understood that he was a uniquely gifted singer.”

Rebecca Allen: “Andrea Bocelli is a truly unique artist, an artist that continues to define and create cultural moments. We are hugely proud of our work with Sugar Music and feel blessed to have created a moment that reflects the brilliance and beauty of this artist and album. A day our label will never forget.”

Graham Parker, President of UM Classics U.S.: “We are honored to have played a role in Bocelli’s first-ever #1 album in the United States and are thrilled for his success. For an artist who has been recording for over 25 years, this new record has it all, great songs, great talent, great collaborations, and it’s gratifying to see his talent and hard work recognized by his existing and new fans alike.”

Verve Label Group President/CEO Danny Bennett: “Andrea Bocelli reaching #1 is well-deserved and historic. is a musical masterpiece full of heartfelt, emotional songs that touch what the public are craving and needing at this time. We are proud to have played a part in helping to elevate classical music to become relevant across generations and establishing an album from a legendary artist in the pantheon of classical music.”

Bocelli solo photo: Luca Rossetti

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