Andrea Bocelli says he wanted stirring Easter Sunday concert to be 'only a prayer' and not an exhibition

Andrea Bocelli was invited to perform the concert by the Mayor of Milan

Andrea Bocelli has said he wanted his viral Easter Sunday concert to be "only a prayer". 

The popular classical singer wowed people around the world with his free concert livestreamed from a deserted Duomo di Milano.

He performed the concert without an audience and in one striking scene, appeared in front of the landmark cathedral alone to sing Amazing Grace.

Asked about the concert on CBS's "This Morning" programme, he said it was important that "the singing will be not an exhibition, will be not a concert, but it will be only a prayer because in this moment, the only important thing is to pray in order to resolve as soon as possible this incredible problem". 

He went on to say that his thoughts were with those who "would have been in church" on Easter Sunday but were prevented from doing so because of the lockdown. 

"Many of them are suffering so my thoughts were for them," he said. 

He admitted that during the lockdown, the "day becomes very long" so he was trying to keep busy by reading, playing music and singing. 

He added that it was important to stay hopeful in spite of the challenging circumstances.

"I am an optimist and the most important thing is, don't lose the hope and to be convinced that very soon everything will be over," he said. 

Elsewhere in the interview, he said, "Music is very important for the soul."

Bocelli's concert has been viewed over 32 million times on YouTube and is still number one in the video platform's trending section two days after it was first broadcast.