Italian singer Patrizio Buanne -- who many call the voice of romance -- recently ended his U.S. tour. We caught up with him in Washington, D.C. for his first-ever performance at the Kennedy Center. For producer Amra Alirejsovic, VOA's Jim Bertel has more.

The 28-year-old singer started performing publicly when he was 11. At 17 he sang for the late Pope John Paul the second. Buanne went on to gain international renown after releasing his first album. And he has just wrapped up a tour promoting his newest album, "Forever Begins Tonight."

Patrizio Buanne said his Kennedy Center concert has special meaning for him because John F. Kennedy is his favorite American president. His set included original melodies and old classics.

"I do not want to be considered as a nostalgic entertainer who brings back just old songs,? says Buanne. ?I do it because these songs are great."

Buanne wants to shake up the current lineup of hip-hop and rock that rule the airways.  "It was important for the 21st century, I believe so, I hope I am not wrong, to reinvent a genre of romantic music,? says Buanne. ?And for me it was important to bring back the image of ?cantante romantico,? or as you say in English, being a crooner. I hope I am doing a good job."

"I am not just a guy who wants to make it, be rich, have a nice car, and a house and be famous. I am coming from a very normal, basic working class family. I just really want to be happy and make people happy with my music."

Buanne performed in 18 cities during his recent U.S. tour and had many sold out concerts. "I think there is good chemistry, or maybe this is my moment now and I do not want to wake up from this dream. This is great. I am enjoying it. America has been good to me."

"America is very spontaneous,? adds Buanne. ?America gives you opportunities, America is not scared of anything. If you can make it in America, you can make it everywhere."

Patrizio Buanne is singing and living la dolce vita.  "Dolce vita means respect, tolerance, passion, not being superficial," he explains.

Buanne speaks six languages fluently, but sings mostly in Italian, English and Spanish.  "Me gustaria cantar para todas mujeres Espanolas, todos Latinas del mundo son preciosas." [?I would love to sing for all Spanish women; all Latinas in the world are precious.?]  "I do not want to be a sex symbol, I leave that job to Ricky Martin. I just want to be a good singer and performer.? He added, ?I want to have a wife and children, and nice house, and dogs -- life, be a family person."

When he is not performing, Buanne says he listens to different musical genres. "I have jazz, rock and roll, rockabilly, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Gwen Stefani, Madonna, John Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Latin music."

"Music must come from here -- from the heart."

Maybe that is why audiences around the world love Buanne so much. They can feel he is singing from his heart. And while Buanne is busy promoting his newest album, his fans eagerly await his next one.