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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: December 18, 2018.

On December 20, 2018 at 8/7 pm CT, TBN airs a Christmas Special featuring global classical music icon Andrea Bocelli. This wonderful Christmas special, Andrea Bocelli: The Heart of Christmas, was filmed in Tuscany and also features duets with Francesca Battistelli and Matteo Bocelli.

Francesca Battistelli is a Dove and GRAMMY® Award-winning artist. The holiday program will feature Battistelli singing a duet with the world-renowned classical music icon, along with a duet between Bocelli and his son, Matteo, performing select Christmas songs. “Andrea Bocelli: The Heart of Christmas” has been filmed in Bocelli’s hometown, Lajatico, in the Italian region Tuscany.

“It was the deepest honor to be given the opportunity to sing alongside such an iconic artist,” exclaims Battistelli. “It was truly a dream come true to perform with Andrea Bocelli and in his home country. This was an experience I will certainly never, ever forget!”

TBN’s foreign partners in Italy, UK, Canada, Germany, Central America, South America and other regions around the world will air the special on the 20th as well. “Andrea Bocelli: The Heart of Christmas,” will also re-air on December 24th.

“It’s been an absolute joy to welcome TBN viewers into the little church in my beloved birthplace, Lajatico—the exact spot where I discovered, as a child, the power of music as an instrument of prayer,” said Bocelli.

Francesca Battistelli was named Artist on the Rise from YouTube Music this year. She released her latest project, Own It, on October 26 (Curb | Word). With critics touting the album as “exceptional” and “engaging,” it has already been chosen by as the top album of the year. Own It is the follow-up to her GRAMMY®-nominated album, If We’re Honest, which features the GRAMMY-winning song, “Holy Spirit.” Battistelli co-wrote nine of the ten songs on Own It, with such songwriters as Matt Maher, Bart Millard of MercyMe, David Garcia, Mia Fieldes, Jeff Pardo, Molly Reed, Ellie Holcomb, Seth Mosley and Josh Bronleewe. The video to the album’s first single, “The Breakup Song,” exclusively debuted on Apple Music.

Battistelli began writing and performing original songs at age 15. A childhood immersed in art, music, dance and theatre prepared her for a future career on the stage. Since her 2008 Gold-certified debut, My Paper Heart, Battistelli has propelled three consecutive studio projects to the top of Billboard’s Christian Albums chart and notched seven No. 1 radio singles, including multi-format, 15-week chart-topper “Holy Spirit.” The wife and mother of four has appeared on “Good Morning America” and “FOX & Friends” and has seen her music placed in a variety of high-profile films and television networks, such as ABC, NBC, FOX, TLC, MTV, Lifetime, TriStar Pictures’ Soul Surfer, Columbia Pictures’ trailer for Julie and Julia, and she also had a role in the film Woodlawn.

Dr. Diane Howard, herself a Christian musical artist, has an insightful interview with Francesca Battistelli about the relationship of music, artistry, the Christian life and more. Dr. Diane Howard reports for Sonoma Christian Home.

SCH: What have you learned about the faith of Andrea Bocelli and the relationship of his faith to his music? 

FB: Andrea Bocelli is a man of faith and family. He wanted to talk with TBN about his faith.

SCH: How does music enhance faith?

FB:  Music is a gift from God. It enables us to connect with Him and to know Him.

SCH: In what ways can music enhance our relationship with God?

FB:  As we worship Him through music, we express ourselves to Him and hear Him.

SCH: Can music enhance our relationship with others?

FB:  It enables us to connect and to have a conversation with others.

SCH: Tell us how a duet affects our corporate faith.

FB:  It shows how we live in community.

SCH: How does music affect our communal faith?

FB:  It connects us and enables us to feel and sense God’s presence together.

SCH: Do artistry and aesthetics affect our faith?

FB:  God created the beauty of the earth.  Artistry and aesthetics draw us to Him.

SCH: How does music affect our emotions and minds, leading us to good action?

FB:  Music affects our feelings first, then leads us to thinking, then to receiving the Word, and then to acting on it.

SCH: Can singing be a prayer?

FB:  Singing can be conversations with the Lord.

SCH: How can we bring glory to God through music?

FB: We bring glory to Him when we create and reflect Him as Creator. Our faith and worship bring glory to Him.


GRAMMY® award-winning artist Francesca Battistelli will accompany Bocelli on two of the special’s songs. Since her 2008 Gold-certified debut, Battistelli has propelled three consecutive studio projects to the top of Billboard’s Christian Albums chart and notched seven number one radio singles.

In addition to one GRAMMY® win and four career GRAMMY nominations, Battistelli has garnered a Billboard Music Award nod, two K-LOVE Fan Awards, six Dove Awards, including being named the Gospel Music Association’s Artist of the Year, a Gold album and two Gold certified singles. With total on-demand streams exceeding 228 million, YouTube views of 50 million, and total equivalent albums of two million, this singer/songwriter continues to be one of the strongest voices in Christian music.

As a part of its robust schedule of Christmas programming to air throughout December, TBN announces it will present “Andrea Bocelli: The Heart of Christmas” on December 20th at 8/7c. Bocelli, one of the world’s most beloved classical stars, will perform select Christmas songs, along with music from his new chart-topping album, ‘Si.” The music special will feature duets with Bocelli’s son, Matteo, and GRAMMY® award-winning Christian singer/songwriter Francesca Battistelli,

“It was an honor to sit with Andrea Bocelli and his wife Veronica and be invited into their home and hear his personal journey of faith,” said TBN President and Chairman, Matt Crouch.
One of the most universally loved and recognizable performers on the planet, Andrea Bocelli has sold in-excess of 90 million albums to date, and his latest album ‘Sì’ has captivated audiences around the world. The album debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart for the first time in Bocelli’s illustrious career and also simultaneously topped the charts in the U.K..

Bocelli’s humble manner belies his international status as one of the world’s biggest classical stars. He has sung for Popes, Presidents and royalty, and performed in all the greatest concert halls and opera houses around the world. He has performed at major international events including the Olympic Games and the World Cup, as well as his own sold-out arena shows. He has a Golden Globe, 7 Classical BRITs and 7 World Music Awards under his belt, plus a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“It was exciting to celebrate together the approach of the Holy Christmas, chatting with each other face-to-face, discussing the important topics of faith, music, and the true meaning of the Christmas season, which our hearts and souls find regenerative,” said Bocelli.




To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard

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