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Famed tenor sings for pope hours after father's death

May 1, 2000
Web posted at: 12:08 p.m. EDT (1908 GMT)

ROME (CNN) -- Hours after his father's sudden death, world-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli sang in a special Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II, an Italian news agency reports.

Bocelli left the Pisa hospital where his father had died to perform in the Mass celebrating May Day at a university on Rome's perimeter, according to the agency, ANSA. The report did not say why Bocelli's father had been hospitalized.

Bocelli, who is blind, sang a half-dozen religious songs, after which he approached the pontiff and kissed his ring. He had flown from Pisa by helicopter so he could make the performance.

Lauded for recordings such as his internationally successful album "Romanza," the Tuscan-born singer lost his eyesight as a boy. He has credited his parents for nurturing his love of music.



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