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|Origin||Multinational (tenors from France, Switzerland, Spain and the United States)|
Il Divo (Italian pronunciation: [il ˈdiːvo]) is a multi-national classical crossover vocal group. The male quartet originated in the United Kingdom in December 2003, bringing together singers Urs Bühler (Switzerland), Carlos Marín (Spain), David Miller (United States), and Sébastien Izambard (France). The group was created and promoted by music producer Simon Cowell for the label Syco Music (a subsidiary of Sony Music). Although it is unclear how the group's name came about, "Il Divo" is translated from Italian as "the star".
As of 2021, the group has released ten studio albums: Il Divo (2004), The Christmas Collection (2005), Ancora (2005), Siempre (2006), The Promise (2008), Wicked Game (2011), A Musical Affair (2013), Amor & Pasión (2015), Timeless (2018) and For Once in My Life: A Celebration of Motown (2021); as well as a compilation album, The Greatest Hits (2012). Two other albums – An Evening with Il Divo: Live in Barcelona (2009) and Live in Japan (2014) – presented recordings of live concerts. Additionally, they have collaborated with other artists.
Since their inception, Il Divo has enjoyed success worldwide, selling well over 30 million copies of their albums worldwide. With 160 certified gold and platinum hits in 35 countries, they pioneered the genre of operatic pop, or "popera", in classical crossover music.
Il Divo's live concerts sold over two million concert tickets worldwide just from their first four albums. In their first world tour, concerts in 69 cities in 18 countries were sold out.
Conception and name
The idea behind Il Divo came when Simon Cowell, inspired after listening to the Three Tenors, decided to form a multinational quartet of talented young singers to recreate the quality of Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and Placido Domingo. Cowell conducted a worldwide search for young singers who were willing to embark on the project, a search that lasted nearly three years, from January 21, 2001, until December 16, 2003, when the fourth member, American tenor David Miller, was signed. Prior to Il Divo, Miller and his European counterparts Spanish baritone, Carlos Marín, Swiss tenor Urs Bühler and French pop singer, Sébastien Izambard were each enjoying moderate success in their own right.
The first album, Il Divo, was recorded in February 2004 in Sweden, with Quiz and Larossi, Per Magnusson and David Kreuger producers, and in Rockstone Studios in the UK with producer Steve Mac, with record label Syco Music. The album was released on 1 November 2004 in just three countries: the UK, Norway and Ireland. In the first weeks they had already achieved double platinum in Norway and Ireland. On 19 April 2005 the album was released in the United States, Spain and elsewhere.
In December 2004, as their public debut and to promote their first studio material, they gave their first concert at Gotham Hall in New York, performing five songs from the album live. This concert was made into a film that became the group's first DVD release, entitled "Live at Gotham Hall.
Il Divo was launched in fall 2004 with the single "Regresa a mí", debuting with the first album of the same name. They filmed the music video for the song in Slovenia. The video, which is fictionalised, shows the members leaving their various occupations and previous lives to become one group.
On 23 May 2005, they released the DVD Mama, which features the second official video of the song "Mama" recorded in the city of Tropea, Italy, exclusive footage from the making of the video, a live recording of Mama live in New York, and a photo gallery.
On 24 January 2006, Sony BMG released the DVD Encore; a concert at the Roman Theatre in Mérida, Spain, recorded on 7 October 2005, a documentary containing interviews with the artists and images of casting made to form the group.;
7 November 2005 saw the European release of Il Divo's third studio album, Ancora. In the United States and Latin America it was released on 24 January 2006. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in its first week of release in the United States.
On 9 June 2006, Il Divo gave a live performance of the official 2006 FIFA World Cup song, "The Time of Our Lives", with R&B singer Toni Braxton, at half-time during the opening match between the Germany and the Costa Rica, and again a month later at the closing ceremony on 9 July. The song is available exclusively on the Voices from the FIFA World Cup compilation album and on the European reissue of Braxton's album Libra but not on any Il Divo album.
In late 2006, they released another DVD Il Divo – Live at the Greek, a recording of their concert in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, directed by Lawrence Johnson 
Il Divo have been on several world tours and have received 50 gold and platinum discs. Their last tour in 2014 covered five continents and over 33 countries. Having just completed a six-month tour of the United States, Australia, and Europe, Il Divo then participated in all 20 concerts by Barbra Streisand on her North American tour as her special guests. Streisand: The Tour with Il Divo was ranked second for all tours during 2006, generating $92.5 million in gross sales. They also accompanied her in her Europe concerts.
After the release of Ancora, the group spent almost half their time as the bestselling act in Europe, building on the success they achieved with their debut self-titled album. Throughout the Christmas period in 2006, Il Divo held the top spot in the list of best-selling albums.
On 27 November 2006 they released their fourth studio album, recorded during their previous world tour, which was titled Siempre with Steve Mac, Per Magnusson and David Kreuger in production.
On 16 January 2007, Il Divo began a tour to promote Siempre in Asia, Australia and then passing first by touring Latin America Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Venezuela in seven concerts that were a resounding success. On 7 November 2006 the group released their first compilation, Il Divo Collezione, a box with three CDs and a DVD that includes three studio albums: Il Divo, Ancora to which is added the song "The Time of Our Lives", and The Christmas Collection DVD and Encore along with a 20-page booklet with rare photos and a poster of each member of the quartet signed and dedicated to their fans.
On 21 November 2006 Il Divo released the Live at the Greek Theater DVD featuring the live concert held on 22 June 2006 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles as part of the 2006 world tour. This recording includes all the songs that had established the group's popularity and an unedited version of the famous song "Somewhere".
Il Divo became the most successful international group in the recent history of classical crossover music, selling over 20 million records in their first five years. The group has enjoyed international popularity. The quartet was awarded over 150 gold and platinum discs in 33 countries in their first four albums and reached number one on 50 album charts worldwide, including the US number-one debut of Ancora, the only classical crossover album to have topped the Billboard 200. Their first album, the debut album by a British group, entered the top lists of the United States and with the album The Promise broke the American record sales in the first week.
Il Divo also began performing at concert venues around the world with great success. They sold more than two million tickets to the concerts for their first four albums. Their first world tour, which sold out, included dates in 69 cities and 18 countries and was followed by a more extensive tour in 2007 in which the group received standing ovations continuously in 30 countries.
On 11 November 2008 the group released their fifth album, The Promise, produced by Steve Mac. The presentation of the album was held at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya on 30 October, where Il Divo performed at the end of dinner five songs from the new album accompanied by an orchestra of 50 musicians.
8 November 2008 saw the release of the DVD At the Coliseum. It included Il Divo's concert at the Roman Colosseum in Pula, Croatia, as well as a 30-minute interview titled "The Promise: Il Divo in conversation".
On 12 December 2008, Il Divo performed at the final of Idol 2008 in the Stockholm Globe Arena. 20 January 2009 they performed at Purple Heart Inauguration Ball in Washington DC for President of the United States Barack Obama. Il Divo's 2009 tour An Evening with Il Divo was their most geographically extensive, with more than 130 dates across six continents, visiting 31 countries and 81 cities. This earned them the Billboard Breakthrough Award for the highest-grossing tour of the year.
On 1 December 2009 the first live album of Il Divo is public, a set of CD + DVD recorded at the Palau Sant Jordi concert An Evening with Il Divo: Live in Barcelona. The DVD + CD includes two new songs in the repertoire of Il Divo "Bridge Over Trouble Water", the classic Simon & Garfunkel, and "The Impossible Dream" from the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha. The live album is a journey through the songs of their first five studio albums that debuted at No.1 in nine countries, including Spain, and sold over three million copies in just two months, 500,000 of them in UK establishing be a concert tour and reference for the group.
They ended 2009 with their first Christmas special intimate show, entitled Celebrate Christmas with Il Divo, which included a traditional repertoire of favourite festive songs with an orchestra and special guests in the United Kingdom, USA and Canada.
They started with two concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on 7 and 8 December with guest artists violinist Vanessa-Mae and singer Camilla Kerslake, ending in the United States offering six more concerts.
On 19 October 2010, Sony Music released the DVD The Yule Log: The Christmas Collection offering a choice of three nativity scenes with Il Divo following their Celebrate Christmas with Il Divo tour.
Artist of the Decade
On 11 May 2011 the group was invited to the Classic Brit Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London to receive the award for "Artist of the Decade". The award recognised the impact the operatic group had had in the classical genre, having sold over 25 million albums worldwide between 2004 and 2011.
On 8 November 2011, the sixth album Wicked Game was published, three years after the release of their previous album. The album was produced by Per Magnusson and David Kreuger with the additional collaboration of Richard "Biff" Stannard. The tour to promote the album Wicked Game led them to visit more than 130 cities in countries including Britain, Spain, South Africa, Australia, United States, Japan, Mexico and London. The creative director of the concerts the tour was Brian Burke, head of the most important shows of the city of Las Vegas. During the concerts, Il Divo was accompanied by the orchestra in each city they visited.
On 20 December 2011, in Paraguay, the quartet gave a concert for more people than had ever been in the Defensores del Chaco stadium for 33,900 people, closing the Bicentenary of the Independence of Paraguay. On 13 May 2012 Il Divo performed the song "Caruso" during the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II at Windsor for the entire royal family and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. In 2008, Il Divo performed at the Olympic torch handover party leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The DVD Live in London, was published in mid-2011, a 90-minute Il Divo concert at the London Coliseum with extras in a documentary recording Wicked Game in their promotional tours in rehearsals for the concert and evening of the show, recorded in the Coliseum Theatre in London on 2 August 2011.
Il Divo & Orchestra in Concert World Tour was a worldwide tour of the six continents between May and September 2012. In each concert on the tour was featured selections of songs from the album Wicked Game, and other topics of his previous albums chosen by his followers/as. The show was designed by creative director Brian Burke, who stated that "Il Divo is the perfect modern fusion of opera, theater and concert. It is a privilege as a director to create a visual landscape inviting the audience on a theatrical journey of their music", along with producer AEG Live.
In November 2012, Il Divo released The Greatest Hits. The album was produced by Alberto Quintero and featured songs spanning Il Divo's eight-year career to date, as well as four new songs including "My Heart Will Go On", "I Will Always Love You", "Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Alone".
Il Divo on Broadway
5 November 2013 saw the release of the group's seventh album, A Musical Affair, produced and arranged by Alberto Quintero and featuring a distinctive, romantic and emotional interpretation of classical music. The songs would feature arrangements tailored to their voices. To promote the album, they made a series of six unique concerts at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway from 7 to 13 November 2013, called Il Divo – A Musical Affair: The Greatest Songs of Broadway.
The world tour began in Japan in February 2014 and travelled around the world, culminating on 1 November 2014 at The O2 Arena in Greenwich, London. On 19 July 2014, as part of their tour, Il Divo sold out Edinburgh Castle, giving a concert featuring the hymn "Amazing Grace".
On 24 November 2014 a special edition of the sixth album A Musical Affair was released. It was produced and arranged by Alberto Quintero and included new songs with French singers, partially or fully sung in French. On 1 December 2014, a CD+DVD set titled Live in Japan was released, which contains a show of the A Musical Affair tour filmed at the Nippon Budokan Theater in Tokyo on 11 March 2014. The Japanese version includes the songs "Flowers Will Bloom" and "Furusato".
In 2014, on the 10th anniversary of the publication of their first album they had sold over 28 million albums worldwide, achieving more than 50 number one sales and receiving 160 gold records and platinum in over 33 countries.
On 23 March 2015, it was announced that Il Divo was the winner of the 2015 Silver Clef Award, giving them the Classic PPL Nordoff Robbins Classical Award. The gala award ceremony took place on 3 July at the Grosvenor House, a five-star hotel in London.
Amor & Pasión
During their first decade, across their first seven studio albums, Il Divo had interpreted the lyrical and classical music genres fused with pop, ballads, church music and folk music, but had not performed any bolero songs, so later decided to make seventh studio album will consist of mainly this genre.
Through Syco Music, on 6 November 2015 in Europa, 27 November in America and 25 October in Japan, Il Divo released their eighth studio album Amor & Pasión (love and passion), produced by Colombian Julio Reyes Copello and mixed by Alberto Quintero. The album spans a century of traditional tangos, boleros and classic mambos. Previously, in July 2015, they initiated the photographic campaign for his eighth album and recording a new video on the streets of the town of Tepoztlan in Mexico, under the production of CTT Exp & Rentals.
To promote the album, a month before its release, the song "Por una cabeza" was played on the radio around the world, including on BBC Radio 2 in the UK. On 21 October, Il Divo performed the first public appearance to promote the sixth album on the program Despierta America, the US network Univision, from Miami, playing his first single "Si voy a perderte (Don't Wanna Lose You)". They then performed the song "Bésame mucho" in Japan. They started the month of November in London, where they attended the second Music Industry Trust Awards.
The album Amor & Pasión debuted atop the US Latin Albums chart, with 5,000 copies sold in America in the first week, according to the magazine Billboard. In Spain, the album debuted at number 10 on the Top 100 Álbumes list.
- In 2008, Il Divo performed on the occasion of the Olympic torch hand-over four years prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- On 12 December 2008, Il Divo performed at the Swedish Idol 2008 finale in the Globen Arena in Stockholm.
- 20 January 2009 they performed at the Commander-in-Chief's Ball in Washington, D.C., for US President Barack Obama.
- The Paraguay show was Il Divo's largest-capacity performance to date and took place on 20 December 2011, at the Defensores del Chaco Stadium in Asuncion, for 33,900 people.
- On 13 May 2012, the group performed during the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II at Windsor for the entire royal family of the United Kingdom.
- On 19 July 2014, Il Divo performed before a capacity crowd at Edinburgh Castle esplanade where a pop festival took place ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The group performed "Amazing Grace".
- On 5 July 2015, while recording their eighth album, Il Divo performed at the Astana Concert Hall in Astana, Kazakhstan, in honour of the 17th anniversary of the Day of Capital.
- In 2005, they performed an English-French duet with Canadian singer Céline Dion titled "I Believe in You (Je crois en toi)".
- In 2009, they performed the song "Sortilegio de amor" for the soundtrack of the telenovela Sortilegio, written by Brazilian singer Denisse de Kalafe, which earned them nominations and awards at the Mexico TvyNovelas Awards for Best Musical Theme for the song "Sortilegio".
- In 2013 they recorded a duet with British singer Engelbert Humperdinck entitled "Spanish Eyes", produced by Alberto Quintero, included on the Engelbert Calling album released 30 September 2014. The song was written by the German composer Bert Kaempfert as "Moon Over Naples".
- In 2015 Il Divo recorded a duet with Mexican singer Juan Gabriel entitled "Amor Eterno" (Eternal Love), one of the songs of the singer emblem. The recording material is included on the disk Los Dúos. The deluxe edition disc is accompanied by a DVD with images of Il Divo during recording.
- In December 2015, the version of the "Himno de la alegría (Ode to Joy)", played by Il Divo, is chosen to be the main theme of the soundtrack of the 2016 Japanese film Everest.
- 2004: Il Divo Tour
- 2006: Streisand: The Tour
- 2006: Il Divo 2006 World Tour, Ancora
- 2007: Il Divo World Tour
- 2008: Il Divo Global Tour
- 2009: An Evening with Il Divo – World Tour
- 2009: Celebrate Christmas with Il Divo
- 2011: Il Divo Tour, Wicked Game
- 2012: Il Divo & Orchestra in Concert – World Tour
- 2013: A Musical Affair en el Teatro Marquis de Broadway
- 2014: A Musical Affair Tour
- 2014: The Best of Il Divo – World Tour
- 2016: Amor & Pasión Tour
- 2017: A Night with the Best of Il Divo
- 2018: Timeless Tour
Besides music, the members of Il Divo are also known for their refined and elegant appearance, wearing almost exclusively suits by Giorgio Armani (Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and Armani Collezioni), and costumes and accessories: William Hunt, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford and Gucci.
Il Divo is a powerful and fascinating presence, in these years have been a great inspiration for me. I remember the first time I saw them performing live: I was impressed by their elegance and their fascinating way to communicate emotions through his music orig.— Giorgio Armani
— Carlos Marín
Il Divo changed the genre of opera with their musical combination of opera singing and classical music, with themes of different genres, including Latin, folk, ballads, church music, bolero and pop. But his lyrical voices kept playing emblematic songs, it is not synonymous with opera, nor pop. There is talk of an intermediate term, but not of a merger between the two, since such lines that can not be merged, as David describes himself:
Pop is here, the opera is there and we (Il Divo) are in the middle.— David Miller
We do not intend to opera, but a pop operatic overtones.— Sébastien Izambard
Ours is romantic music.— Carlos Marín
The quartet records their songs in several languages Spanish ("Regresa A Mi", "Hasta Mi Final", "La Vida Sin Amor"), English ("Mama", "Amazing Grace", "Don't Cry For Me Argentina"), Italian ("Senza Parole", "Passera", "Notte Di Luce"), French ("Pour Que Tu M'Aimes Encore", "Le Temps des Cathedrales"), one in Latin ("Panis Angelicus") and a few in Portuguese ("Volta Pra Mim") and Japanese ("Furusato"). Some songs incorporate more than one language in the same song: "The Man You Love" (Spanish & English), "Ave Maria" (Italian & Latin), "I Believe In You" (English & French) are recorded this way; whereas others are recorded in a single language, but sung live in two languages: "She" (Italian & English) and "Bring Him Home" (English & Spanish).
Most of the songs that they cover are reinterpreted from English and translated into the Spanish language, as the group themselves have said that "Spanish is the language of Romanticism".
On 25 April 2007, Il Divo performed on American Idol in one of the "Idol Gives Back" episodes, which raised money for children in the US and Africa. For every vote cast during that show, Idol sponsors Coca-Cola, AT&T, and others donated money to Charity Projects Entertainment Fund (CPEF) and other groups such as Save the Children and America's Second Harvest.
Il Divo is related indirectly in terms of sponsorship and help with the French NGO SMTA Assistance Médicale Toit du Monde since 2005, of which Sébastien is the international official sponsor, and with Sanfilippo Children's Foundation, for which Sébastien is the global ambassador.
Between 20 and 30 September 2015, David Miller and Urs Bühler participated in a motorbike ride for charity. They planned to ride across America on a 2800-mile journey from Miami to Los Angeles to raise funds for the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity.
Il Divo is composed of four singers, three of whom are classically trained, from four countries: German-born Spanish baritone Carlos Marín (b. 1968), two classically trained tenors Swiss Urs Bühler (b. 1971) and American David Miller, (b. 1973), and French pop singer-songwriter Sébastien Izambard (b. 1973).
- Il Divo (2004)
- The Christmas Collection (2005)
- Ancora (2005)
- Siempre (2006)
- The Promise (2008)
- Wicked Game (2011)
- A Musical Affair (2013)
- Amor & Pasión (2015)
- Timeless (2018)
- For Once in My Life: A Celebration of Motown (2021)
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- "Fundraise for Nordoff Robbins". everydayhero.com. 19 September 2015.
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- Allegra Rossi, Romancing The World, Hardback 128 pages, 10 November 2005, Orion publishers (ISBN 978-0-7528-7519-4)
- Il Divo, Our Music, Our Journey, Our Words, Paperback 192 pages, 6 September 2007, Headline Book Publishing (ISBN 978-0-7553-1657-1)
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- IlDivo.com Official Website Il Divo