When Christian singer Francesca Battistelli received a phone call not long before Thanksgiving from Andrea Bocelli’s team, asking if she’d be interested in traveling to Italy to sing with the beloved recording artist, she had to ask, “Did I hear you right?”
At 33 years old, the “Write Your Story” singer landed the gig of a lifetime: the chance to sing in a TBN Christmas special alongside the iconic vocalist behind songs like “The Prayer” and “Time to Say Goodbye.”
“It was absolutely a dream,” Battistelli told Faithwire of her trip to Lajatico. “I’m still amazed that it happened.”
During the special — “Andrea Bocelli: The Heart of Christmas,” airing Dec. 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET — the mother of four will sing “What Child Is This” with 60-year-old Bocelli.
Battistelli stepped into the spotlight in 2008, when her first studio album, “My Paper Heart,” debuted. Looking back over the last 10 years, the Christian singer said she’s “very thankful” for the “beautiful journey” she’s traveled — one she never could have predicted.
“As my career has grown, my family has grown and life has been just one series of busy, amazing adventures after another,” she said. “We have four kiddos now. My first record, I didn’t even have a husband yet, so a lot has changed in the past four albums.”
Battistelli, with her young family, said it’s important to take time during the hectic holiday season “to remember why we celebrate.” Christmas, she said, is “such a short season,” adding, “We try to soak it up and have as much hot cocoa as possible.”
While they were together recording the special, the Grammy-winning vocalist said, it was obvious “faith is very important to” Bocelli.
“He wanted to do this special in order to have the chance to really talk about his faith because he doesn’t get asked about it very much,” Battistelli said, “and he really wanted to have the space to dive in.”
Be sure to catch the Christmas special Thursday, Dec. 20, at 8:00 p.m. ET.