2006 could be %cIl Divo%'s year. Their newest album, released on January 24 titled 'Ancora' instantaneously rests on the top chart of Billboard 200, knocking off %cJamie Foxx%'s acclaimed album 'Unpredictable' from his comfortable seat to the third rank. This was due to the tremendous sale of the album which reached 156,000 units in the first week of its U.S. release in. In consequence, a world tour is planned for the band to travel across U.S., Canada, Australia and some countries in Europe.
One of the factors behind their rapid success was the unique formation. Not only relying on good looks and skillful performance, the group also have a secret recipe: combining opera voices with pop songs. While %cJosh Groban% amazed music fans with his excellent voice and boyish look, Il Divo come in four times. The band emerged from the audition carried out by American Idol judge, %cSimon Cowell% who was struck by an idea to assemble classic singers into one solid quarto after listening to %cAndrea Bocelli% and %cSarah Brightman%'s duet. And thus Cowell conducted a search for talented singers and discovered %cUrs Toni Buhler%, %cCarlos Marin%, %cSebastien Izambard% and %cDavid Miller%. With the inclusion of Miller to be the last member of the group in late 2003 after two years audition, they were quickly gathered as a band named 'Il Divo' which literary means 'Divine Performer'. Signed by Sony BMG, their first album called 'Il Divo' was out in U.K. as early as first half of 2004.
Creating this band can be assumed as experiment but it was such a bold move indeed, for the members not only are already in their thirties, but also each of them comes from different countries. Yet, they are able to overcome all those barriers. Being thirties, their fans are mostly older women but that doesn't mean they can't attract young girls. Besides, different nationalities added color to their accent and looks. American by nationality, the tenor David Miller (born April 14, 1973) has been a professional opera singer prior Il Divo. He graduated from Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio majoring vocal performance and took a Master in opera theater. The other tenor is Swedish Urs Toni Buhler. The long-haired singer was born in Switzerland on July 19, 1971. He attended Amsterdam Conservatory before trained privately by famous tenors %cGosta Winbergh% and %cChristian Papis%. Meanwhile, the oldest member, Carlos Marin (born October 13, 1963) is of Spanish ancestry but was born in Germany. With his deep voice, the baritone claimed the trademark as 'primo baritono' in loads of operas. His musical education included the lessons from the legendary tenor, %cAlfredo Kraus%. Providing the 'pop' voice in this band is Sebastien Izambard (born March 7, 1973 in Paris), the only self-taught member who has produced and written songs for many French singers.
Comprised by proficient individuals was not enough for a band to launch its identity. Il Divo blatantly remade some songs in their unique version. Like a bag full of mix candies, their first album 'Il Divo' offered songs in three different languages, English, Italian, and Spanish. %cTony Braxton%'s 'Unbreak My Heart' was sung in more dramatic version and their single 'A Mi Manera' was adapted from %cFrank Sinatra%'s 'My Way'. Also, there were more pop tunes in singles 'The Man You Love', 'Everytime I Look At You' and 'Feelings'. The result was brilliant as 'Il Divo' earned Platinum in both U.S. and Sweden as well as obtained double Platinum in Australia besides smashed %cLed Zeppelin%'s 25-year-old selling record of being the only band to score a number 1 album without a single released.
Following their initial success, the band also recorded a Christmas album titled 'Christmas Collection' in 2005, then circulated DVD 'Encore' in 2006 as well as releasing the hopeful 'Ancora'. Handled by experts, like %cPer Magnusson%, %cDavid Kreuger% and %cSteve Mac%, this album was more than conventional. In U.S. version, their rendition of %cMariah Carey%'s 'Hero' was twisted into classical tune while 'I Believe in You (Je Crois en Toi)' was made into a harmonious collaboration with %cCeline Dion%. In U.K's version, the track list was added with old time favorite 'Unchained Melody' and two songs taken from the previous albums, 'O Holy Night' and 'Ave Maria'. Confident with this album, Il Divo is set to conquer the music industry and awes its fans all over the world.