Andrea Bocelli Foundation Launch

The world-renowned tenor creates a foundation to help those with disabilities and those affected by poverty

“I don’t think there’s a country in the world where foundations like this are fostered and understood,” Bocelli told the nattily dressed crowd gathered at the Bev Hilton for the singer’s inaugural fund-raiser. It was a well-dressed bunch, full of Italians (my entire table) and dressed like extras in a Fellini film (I was also sitting behind three little nuns, yes, they were petite). Jo Champa, Studiomusica, and the Grammy Museum Foundation produced the heartfelt event where Bocelli sang song after song (he got me on “Ave Maria”), including duets with singers like Heather Headley and Ana María Martínez. David Foster pulled up the piano stool a few times and accompanied Michael Bolton (who missed his cue) on “When a Man Loves a Woman.” I will always be eternally grateful that Bolton cut that hair eons ago. He looks great. OK, and he can sing. There were other music legends in the audience, like Quincy Jones (whom Bocelli surprised with a Girard-Perregaux World Timer timepiece). Jones became the foundation’s first award winner. Other biggies? Chaka Khan, Harvey Weinstein, Evan Rachel Wood, Camilla Belle, Taylor Hackford, and Natalie Cole. It was a happy night all around—Bocelli’s wife, Veronica, is expecting the couple’s first child in the spring. “I try to avoid the public scene as I am not really cut out for it,” she said, adding about her unborn daughter, “I’m sure she’s smiling this evening with all of us.”