Entertainment A classic already, Andrea Bocelli’s Music for Hope performance breaks YouTube record
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A classic already, Andrea Bocelli’s Music for Hope performance breaks YouTube record

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Andrea Bocelli is officially YouTube’s newest superstar.

The Italian tenor’s live-streaming solo performance on Easter Sunday, streamed on April 12 exclusively via YouTube from the Duomo in Milan, has gone into the record books as drawing the biggest audience for a classical live stream in YouTube’s history.

Bocelli’s Music For Hope – Live From Duomo di Milano reached more than 2.8 million peak concurrent viewers, according to YouTube.

That also makes it one of the biggest musical live-stream performances of all time.

The 25-minute video generated more than 28 million views worldwide in its first 24 hours, and as of Tuesday had topped 35 million views.

Even prior to the stream beginning, more than one million viewers were queued up in the waiting room.

In a statement, Bocelli said: “I am moved and delighted to have received such an overwhelming reaction that has gone beyond our highest expectations.

“It was an immeasurable honour and privilege to lend my voice to the prayers of millions of people, gathered in a single embrace – a small, great miracle of which the whole world was the protagonist and which confirms my optimism about the future of our planet.”

Accompanied only by the organist Emanuele Vianelli, Bocelli sang a carefully-chosen selection of pieces, specially arranged for solo voice and organ, including the beloved Bach/Gounod setting of Ave Maria and Franck’s Panis Angelicus.

Bocelli ended the performance with a rendition of Amazing Grace.

For the record, the most-viewed live-streaming event in YouTube’s history remains the 2012 space jump by skydiver Felix Baumgartner, which more than eight million people watched live concurrently on YouTube.