Berlusconi says goodbye with a new album of love ballads

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has gone out with a song – with his long-awaited album of love songs released as he leaves office.

Mr Berlusconi, 75, who as a young man was a cruise ship crooner, delayed the release of his fourth album as he tried to sort out Italy’s economic crisis

It had been due out next week after being postponed for months, but it has now hit the shops following his exit from office.,

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The album, called Vero Amore (True Love) has a dozen ballads on it and the lyrics were written by Mr Berlusconi and put to music by his favourite singer and close friend Mariano Apicella, who has often praised the billionaire media tycoon’s song writing skills.

In 2003, Mr Berlusconi made his singing debut working with Apicella on an album called Meglio ‘na Canzone (Better a Son) which sold 20,000 copies.

The new album’s simple cover shows a couple sitting on a park bench, the man with his arm around the woman, watching two dogs kissing. Last night Apicella said: “Working with Berlusconi, he gets an idea into his head and we get together and work on it or throw it away. Music is his way of switching off for a bit and his passion for music is well known.”

Apicella, who is also said to have provided the musical entertainment at Berlusconi’s infamous bunga bunga parties – although both say they were elegant dinners – also wrote a dedication to the politician on the album cover saying: “I want to thank a person who is very special and dear to me and who I will thank for the rest of my life.”

NICK PISA