Record executive, TV personality, and entrepreneur Simon Cowell had the idea of forming a popular/classical crossover group of operatic singers. He spent two years scouring the world before finalizing the line-up in December 2003 with Carlos Marín (Spain), Urs Bühler (Switzerland), Sébastien Izambard (France) and David Miller (United States). Cowell gave the quartet an Italian name – Il Divo - and fashioned their image as a younger, sexier version of The Three Tenors. Singing in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Latin, they released their self-titled debut album in 2004, becoming an international phenomenon in the process. The debut album knocked British superstar Robbie Williams from the top of the UK Albums Chart and went to Number 1 in a dozen other countries. Il Divo’s second album Ancora (2005) included a Céline Dion duet and topped the US charts. Subsequent albums include The Christmas Collection (2005), Voices (2006), Siempre (2006), The Promise (2008), Wicked Game (2011), A Musical Affair (2013), Amor & Pasión (2015), and Timeless (2018). The group’s albums were extremely successful, selling over 30 million copies and leading to many awards including Artist of the Decade at the Classic Brit Awards in 2011. Il Divo has performed all around the world and have undertaken 15 successful tours. In 2021, they released the album For Once in My Life: A Celebration of Motown, an album filled with their unique versions of songs taken from the legendary Motown Records’ catalog. On December 7, 2021, Carlos Marín – who had released solo material before and during Il Divo’s formation – was hospitalized in Manchester, England after contracting COVID-19. After being put into a medically induced coma to try to save his life, he died on December 19, 2021, at the age of 53.