Carlos Marín, of the multinational Il Divo Quartet, dies at 53

Carlos Marín, a Spanish baritone who rose to international fame after impresario Simon Cowell chose him to be a member of Il Divo, the m...


Carlos Marín, a Spanish baritone who rose to international fame after impresario Simon Cowell chose him to be a member of Il Divo, the multinational quartet whose fluid pop music delivered in a lyrical style has sold millions of records and filled with arenas, died Sunday in Manchester, England. He was 53 years old.

Il Divo announced his death on social networks. “It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that our friend and partner, Carlos Marín, has passed away,” the group wrote in an article on Twitter.

The post did not specify a cause, but Mr Marín had been admitted to a Manchester hospital earlier this month with Covid-19, and on December 9 the group announced it was postponing the remaining dates of his 2021 tour of Britain “due to illness.” A recent post on Il Divo’s Facebook page asked fans to pray and wish Mr. Marín good wishes.

“I am devastated that Carlos Marín has passed away,” Cowell wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “He loved life. He loved to play and always had a lot of appreciation for the fans who supported the group from day one.

Mr. Marín was born on October 13, 1968 in Rüsselsheim, a German town southwest of Frankfurt, and was somewhat of a child prodigy. Nicknamed “the little Caruso”, he recorded his first album in the Netherlands under the name Carlito at the age of 8.

When he was 12, his family moved to Madrid, where he studied at the Royal Conservatory. He has also won several television talent contests.

He began to make a name for himself in opera and musical theater, appearing in productions of “Les Misérables”, “Homme de la Manche”, “La Traviata” and more. The opportunity to be part of Mr. Cowell’s group, however, changed the direction of his career.

“I had opera reservations until 2008,” Mr. Marín told the Sunday Herald Sun of Australia in 2005, “but decided the risk of getting involved in something like this was worth it. “

Around 2001, Mr. Cowell, who would soon become known to American television audiences as a judge on “American Idol”, began to think about forming a male vocal group modeled on the Three Tenors – José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti – who fused opera and pop for a decade.

He began to look for singers, sending scouts to the opera stages of the world. But by the start of 2003, he was growing increasingly frustrated, unable to find the voices, looks, and personalities he felt could work in the genre sometimes referred to as popera. As Mr Cowell told the London Daily Mail in 2004, it was Mr Marín who was the game changer.

“A year and a half ago I thought this would never happen,” said Mr. Cowell. “I gave him three months, then I had a visit from Carlos Marín, a 35-year-old Spaniard. A star had entered my office. He was very charming and when he sang all the hair on my neck stood on end.

Soon he had paired Mr. Marín with Urs Bühler from Switzerland, David Miller from the United States and Sébastien Izambard from France. The group performed and recorded songs in several languages ​​- Spanish, English, Italian, French – and reached a large number of fans. Il Divo has covered pop songs, musical theater songs, and classical and religious songs, all performed in a style that some found sighing but others, especially critics, found manipulative and out of date.

“The singers looked in their brilliant designer costumes as they had burst from the cover of a Harlequin Romance novel,” Chris Lee wrote in The Los Angeles Times in 2006. He called the quartet “UN” virtual torrid hunkitude ”.

That same year, when Il Divo performed with Barbra Streisand at Madison Square Garden, Stephen Holden of the New York Times was unimpressed.

“While this multilingual, multinational quartet of model singers assembled by devilishly market-savvy impresario Simon Cowell rings true,” he writes, “they have the emotional spontaneity of robots in tuxedos.”

Mr. Marín, although he was an experienced opera singer when he joined Il Divo, came to prefer the band’s music to the opera stage.

“With opera you have to play,” he told Singapore’s Business Times in 2014, “but you can’t really whisper something beautiful.”

“Singing is my way of saying what I feel, my way of life,” he reportedly said on the band’s website.

In the mid-1990s, Mr. Marín played the Beast in a Spanish production of “Beauty and the Beast”. The role of the role of beauty was played by a French singer named Geraldine Larrosa. The two tied the knot in 2006, although the marriage ended in 2009.

Information on Mr. Marín’s survivors was not immediately available.

Livia Albeck-Ripka and Raphael Minder contributed reporting.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Carlos Marín, of the multinational Il Divo Quartet, dies at 53
Carlos Marín, of the multinational Il Divo Quartet, dies at 53
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