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Andrea Bocelli secretly battled coronavirus and is donating blood to vaccine research

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Andrea Bocelli has revealed he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March. (Getty Images)

Andrea Bocelli has revealed he secretly battled coronavirus back in March - but chose not to make his diagnosis public.

The 61-year-old Italian tenor - who shared a live-stream of himself performing live from Milan cathedral on Easter Sunday in April - has now revealed he had himself contracted COVID-19 and is donating his blood to help vaccine research.

Bocelli told Good Morning America in a statement: 'The pandemic which has shaken the world has also affected - albeit mildly - me and certain members of my family.

Read more: Andrea Bocelli’s Easter Sunday Performance Breaks YouTube Record

"Out of respect for those for whom contracting the virus has had more serious consequences, I decided it would be best not to share the news. I certainly didn’t want to unnecessarily alarm my fans and also wished to protect my family’s privacy."

He added: "Given the chance to donate blood to help find a cure for Covid, my response was an immediate “yes”. A modest - but fundamental - gesture, through which I am playing my small part.”

Bocelli revealed he took a test which came back positive on March 10th and had made “a swift and full recovery by the end of March”. He said he had a bit of a fever but no severe symptoms.

Andrea Bocelli performed his Music For Hope concert alone outside the cathedral in Milan during lockdown. (LaPresse/Sipa USA)

The blind opera star was photographed entering the University hospital of Pisa, known as the AOUP, to donate blood, and made his statement to reporters outside.

Blood from the survivors of COVID-19 - known as convalescent plasma - contains antibodies and is being used by researchers as it is hoped it can be given to patients with severe symptoms to boost their ability to fight the virus.

Bocelli lives with his second wife and manager, Veronica Berti, and their eight-year-old daughter Virgnia.

Berti, 36, also donated blood during the hospital visit, indicating she had also had coronavirus.

He also has two sons Amos, 25, and Matteo, 22, with his first wife Enrica Cenzatti.

Andrea Bocelli and wife Veronica Berti who is believed to have also had COVID-19. (AP)

Bocelli - who has homes in Italy and Miami, Florida - broadcast his Music For Hope live concert from the deserted Duomo di Milano in Milan on YouTube on Easter Sunday.

Read more: Idris Elba clarifies 'annual week of quarantine' comments

During the 30 minute concert it reached 2.8 million peak concurrent viewers from around the world and has now been watched over 40 million times on YouTube.

Accompanied only by the cathedral's organist Emanuele Vianello, the Italian opera singer's set included classic songs such as Ave Maria and Amazing Grace.

Other celebrities who have made their COVID-19 diagnoses public include Tom Hanks, Idris Elba, singer Pink, magician Dynamo, actress Linda Lusardi and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.