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Columbia Popera Crooners Break Through With 150k

January 31, 2006

Move over, Pavarotti, and you, too, Placido, there’s a new opera gang in town.

Simon Cowell discovery Il Divo debuts at the top of the charts this week with their Columbia album Ancora, selling 150k-plus for the first big debut of 2006. Somewhere, a fat lady with Viking horns is singing.


January 31, 2006

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Amazing news just in: it's just been confirmed that Il Divo's Ancora has shot straight to the top of the American charts today.

They've sold over 150,000 copies in the first week, knocking Jamie Foxx off the top of the Billboard Top 100.

Il Divo have become the first UK signed act to have an album enter at Number One without releasing a single since Radiohead's 'Kid A' in 2000. They are also one of few acts to have a Number One album with virtually no radio play.

This feat adds to an unprecedented record of 23 Number Ones around the world including the UK, Spain, Canada, Australia and South Africa. It makes them one of the biggest international acts with over 10 million albums sales worldwide.

Simon Cowell said: 'This is a dream come true for all of us. I am especially delighted for the four boys, who, over the last 12 months, have worked incredibly hard for this.'


February 1, 2006

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Il Divo Debuts at #1 on Billboard Top 200 Best-Selling Albums Chart With Ancora

Internationally Celebrated Operatic Pop Vocal Quartet Achieves First #1 Album Success In The U.S. On Eve of Sold-Out World Tour

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The world-class operatic pop vocal quartet Il Divo has surpassed its previous record-breaking success in the U.S. as Ancora, the group's new album, debuts at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 best-selling albums chart with true first week's sales of 156,407.

When Il Divo, the self-titled debut album from the groundbreaking quartet, was released in April 2005, it debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 Bestselling Albums chart with first week's sales of more than 146,000 records, a remarkable and unprecedented feat given an absence of either traditional radio support or an on-air music video. At that time, Il Divo, a #1 album in the UK, achieved the highest U.S. chart entry (in the SoundScan era) for a debut album from a UK-signed act. That album remains in the Top 200 more than nine months after its release.

As it debuts at #1 on the Top 200, the U.S. edition of Ancora is mirroring the success of the album's international version (released just before the 2005 holiday season) which debuted at #1 in nine countries, including Canada, Australia, and the UK. The U.S. success of Ancora comes on the eve of the Il Divo's much-anticipated first world tour, which has sold-out scores of venues across the globe.

Ancora is the first stateside album release from Il Divo since the group gave its U.S. fans a special holiday present this past holiday season. The Christmas Collection, a heart-warming selection of beloved seasonal music, was the nation's best-selling holiday album in 2005.

With its #1 U.S. debut, Ancora fulfills the promise of the group's best-selling debut (which has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide) with some of Il Divo's most tender and passionate performances to-date.

Recorded in Sweden and London under the auspices of producer Steve Mac and production team Per Magnusson and David Krueger, Ancora (which means "Again" or "Encore" in Italian) gives the multi-lingual members of Il Divo the room to create a sublime intersection of pop and classical sensibilities as they perform in four different languages -- English, Italian, Spanish, and French -- across ten elegantly-imagined tracks including a heart-stopping version of Eric Carmen's "All By Myself."

The specially-configured American edition of Ancora includes the tracks "All By Myself," "Isabel," "I Believe In You (Je Crois En Toi)" (Il Divo and Celine Dion), "You Raise Me Up (Por Ti Sere)," "Si Tu Me Amas," "Hasta Mi Final," "Heroe," "En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor," "Esisti Dentro Me," "Pour Que Tu M'aimes Encore."

Il Divo was formed in late 2003 under the aegis of the iconic "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, who, after conducting a two-year international talent search, discovered David Miller (USA - tenor), Sebastien Izambard (France - vox populi), Urs Buhler (Switzerland - tenor) and Carlos Marin (Spain - baritone), a virtuosic vocal quartet who combined an astounding musical mastery with smoldering sex appeal.

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Eating my cornflakes this morning whilst watching the breakfast show on TVAM, what should come on but an advert for Il Divo's album with a video of them singing All By Myself! Only caught a few seconds of it but it sounds cool sung in a very "high brow" sort of fashion. I'd love to hear them do "Starting Over" with the unedited first line! shocked

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Cowell's prolific Il Divo scores with 'Ancora'

Los Angeles Times

February 2, 2006

By Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer

Il Divo, Simon Cowell's experiment in mixing classical vocal styles with polished pop sensibilities, has the new No. 1 album in the country with "Ancora," which sold 157,000 copies last week.

Il Divo is a quartet of handsome young men (three Europeans and San Diego native David Miller) trained in opera who were selected after a two-year search. "Ancora" is the third CD the foursome has released in less than a year and features classical-flavored interpretations of such pop hits as Mariah Carey's "Hero" and Eric Carmen's "All by Myself."

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Just listened to it -- the song is so beautiful in itself, it is hard to ruin it -- but, let's say, the vocals are not my taste ...

Cowell rented the house I rent before me. He's friends with my friend who owns the house. I can always put in a good word, I guess, to consider the 'berries laughlaugh

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I don´t like Il Divo(The real metrosexual thing in opera is Pavarotti´s Belly(LOL)and thaqt ABM cover is predictable and boring.ABM needs to be covered by other kind of singers.Is an excellent song that need being checked out for other kind of public.My Spanish lyric for ABM is much better and sarcastic.Is almost the same than the original but I´ve changed some words for others and the meaning of the song changes and is really sarcastic.

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Sugarbabi,I´ve told my cover is 100000 times beter than Il Divo´s one.Oh and did you know I was the first person to mention Il Divo´s cover at the forum when it was released here in Spain?I´ve wrote a lyric in Spanish for All By Myself and other for Never Gonna Fall In Love Again,and I´ll write another couple more for That´s Rock´n´roll and Great Expectations soon,all of them very sarcastic.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Something else to think about: maybe "All By Myself" will finally be a Grammy-nominated song, earning an award Eric's song richly deserves...

I'll be watching to see if Il Divo's version becomes a hit single. The previous chartings of Mr. Carmen's tune:

Eric's own version, peaked in March of 1976: #2 (3 weeks), Billboard Hot 100 (#1 in Cashbox)... #6 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (AC) chart...

Celine Dion's version, peaked in April of 1997: #4, Billboard Hot 100... #1 (3 weeks), Billboard AC chart...

Anybody notice that the stars seem to align for the tune to be a March-April chart-topping hit (the time may be just right for Il Divo)...

If anyone's interested, the RIAA certifies Gold and Platinum Records and they have a searchable database at http://www.riaa.com/gp/database/default.asp : Eric got his Gold Record Award for "All By Myself" single on April 21, 1976... Celine Dion got her Gold Record Award for the tune on May 7, 1997... it will be interesting to see if the tune can produce a third Gold single via Il Divo (I'm wondering what the record for a song going "gold" by several different artists is?).

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