Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been called many things during his often turbulent career. But he was surely not expecting this latest label: Rock Star of the Year.
Allegations of affairs with underwear models and prostitutes, wild parties at luxury villas, and a billionaire's bank balance: welcome to Silvio Berlusconi's world, one which the Italian edition of music magazine Rolling Stone says is "worthy of the greatest rock star."
Carlo Antonelli, editor of Rolling Stone Italy, said editorial staff had all agreed that Berlusconi was the magazine's rock star of the year.
"This year the choice was unanimous for his obvious merits due to a lifestyle for which the words 'rock and roll' fall short," Antonelli said in a statement.
"Rod Stewart, Brian Jones and Keith Richards in their prime were schoolboys compared to him," he said.
"Michael Jackson's Neverland is a little prairie house compared to Villa Certosa [Berlusconi's Sardinian villa]," Antonelli added.
2009 has been a year of scandal for the Italian Prime Minister, who also owns a media empire worth billions. He has been accused of having a relationship with an 18-year-old underwear model and of sleeping with a prostitute at a party, none of which has done much to dent his popularity with Italians. It has however led his second wife to demand a divorce.
Rolling Stone denies that there is any political agenda behind Berlusconi's rock star rating.
"We are far from favoring left or right," Carlo Antonelli said.
Editor: Michael Lawton
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