Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi to release an album of love songs

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Now that Silvio Berlusconi is no longer Italy’s prime minister, he should have more time for another career: music.

The flamboyant billionaire and former cruise ship crooner will be releasing an album of Neapolitan love songs with singer Mariano Apicella on Nov. 22., reports the Italian news agency ANSA. The CD, called “Il Vero Amore,” or “The True Love,” features songs written by Berlusconi and performed by Apicella.


It will be the fourth album for the pair, which the British newspaper the Guardian reports has performed together at Berlusconi’s villa in Sardinia for guests including President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The album was originally to be released in September, leading to speculation that Berlusconi ordered the delay as he struggled to pull Italy back from the brink of bankruptcy.

“Nonsense,” Apicella told ANSA. “I have no contact with the world of politics. I’m lucky enough to be Silvio Berlusconi’s friend and to collaborate with him. But the singer is boss, not the songwriter. I’m making the disc, and I decide when it comes out.”

The 75-year-old Berlusconi, who survived multiple allegations of sexual impropriety and corruption during his 17 years in office, resigned Saturday to make way for Mario Monti, a former banker and European commissioner well regarded by the financial establishment.


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-- Alexandra Zavis in Los Angeles