Il Divo singer dies after hospitalization; he was 53

December 19, 2021
Il Divo canceled the rest of the quartet's December dates after Carlos Marín's hospitalization.


Carlos Marín, the baritone member of international pop-opera fusion vocal quartet Il Divo, has died, his bandmates announced. He was 53.

“It is with heavy hearts that we are letting you know that our friend and partner, Carlos Marín, has passed away,” remaining group members David Miller, Sebastien Izambard and Urs Buhler announced Sunday on social media. “He will be missed by his friends, family and fans. There wiIl never be another voice or spirit like Carlos.

“For 17 years the four of us have been on this incredible journey of Il Divo together, and we will miss our dear friend. We hope and pray that his beautiful soul will rest in peace.”

The official Il Divo Twitter account announced Dec. 10 that remaining shows for the month had been rescheduled “due to illness” and shared Thursday that Marín had been admitted to the hospital, though a cause was not disclosed in either announcement. USA TODAY has reached out to the group’s representatives for more information. 

Il Divo, the “popera” fusion group built by music producer and singing competition judge Simon Cowell in 2004, was comprised of U.S.-born Miller, Buhler from Switzerland, Izambard of France, and Marín, who was born in Germany but raised in Spain. 

The concept was essentially a boy band for pop-opera fanatics, with photogenic members sporting beautifully crafted suits and singing melodramatic songs that tug at the heartstrings. Except for Izambard, the members were classically trained.

The formula made them wildly successful around the globe, with platinum albums, major tours and, in the United States, PBS specials. But the group has never achieved the critical respect it deserves, Izambard told The Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network.

“Our success is due to our audience,” he said in 2014. “Radio doesn’t know where to play us. We’re not a cool band. We don’t sing like Miley Cyrus. I don’t think people give us credit because of how we got together.”

Miller likened Cowell’s creation of the group to an “arranged marriage” in a 2018 interview with The Associated Press. They hadn’t worked together before, but sang a few songs together and realized they were building “our own musical universe.” 

Interview with the group:Il Divo brings Broadway songbook to U.S. tour

“It was really hard to get along in the beginning,” Izambard told The Arizona Republic. “We didn’t speak English well. We had completely different cultures. It’s like we had been in an arranged marriage and promised to love each other for 10 years. It’s hard enough to make marriage work with someone you’ve chosen.”

Still, the group figured out how to carry on.

“We get on better now than we ever did,” Marin added. “We really are like brothers and have learned when to enjoy each other’s company and when to give each other some privacy. Seb, David and Urs are the only other people who know how this journey has felt, and (we) have been there supporting each other every step of the way.”

Contributing: Randy Cordova, The Arizona Republic


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