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Formed in 2004 by music producer and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell, Il Divo consists of Spanish baritone Carlos Marín, American David Miller and Swiss Urs Bühler as tenors, and French pop singer Sébastien Izambard. The effort by Cowell was to create a multinational quartet that sounded similar to the Three Tenors, while carrying a pop music sound. Although Il Divo is based in the UK, they tour and release their work throughout the world. The group sings in English, Latin, Spanish, French, and Italian. All four singers are classically trained.
The singers released their first eponymous album, Il Divo, in 2004. The album was a hit, reaching number one in the United Kingdom, number four in the United States, and in the top five in over a dozen countries. Its first single was a cover of the 1997 Toni Braxton hit Unbreak My Heart. Il Divo has sold over four million copies so far worldwide. The singing group's second studio album, Ancora, was released in November 2005. It was the first Il Divo album to reach number one on the Billboard 200, and also reached number one on the UK charts and in a dozen other countries. It included a single performed with Celine Dion. At the end of 2005, the group released a Christmas album
2006 was a busy year for Il Divo. In June, the group released the FIFA World Cup associated Voices album, which included songs from both Il Divo and a number of other singers, including Elton John, Billy Joel, and Rod Stewart. In August, they released their third studio album, Siempre. The album reached number six on the Billboard charts, number one in the UK and Spain, and in the top ten in over a dozen countries. It has also been certified platinum in over a half dozen countries. The album includes a cover of the Bryan Adams song "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" Also during 2006, Il Divo toured with Barbra Streisand. In November 2008, the fourth studio album, The Promise, was released and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 and number one in the UK.