Il Divo was formed in 2001 in the UK. The British producer and one of the co-founders of the famous American talent show American Idol, Simon Cowell, saw how well the Three Tenors (Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti) performed and decided that he could create a similarly successful project. In order to find the right artists, Cowell’s assistant arranged broad-scale auditions and eventually came up with four perfect candidates.
In 2004, the band recorded their first LP Il Divo in Sweden with the assistance of producers Quiz & Larossi, Per Magnusson, and David Kreuger. Part of the LP was recorded in the UK under the labels Syco and Sony Music. Initially, the album was released in the UK, Norway, and Ireland. In just 2 weeks, it earned two platinum certificates in Norway and Ireland. The song “Regresa a mí” became the first Spanish song to reach a high spot on the British charts. A few months later, the album was released in the USA and Spain. It featured 4 English and 5 Spanish songs. In the end of the year, the band gave their first concert in New York’s Gotham Hall. Part of the concert later came out as a live album called Live At Gotham Hall.
In 2005, the band released their second album Ancora. It topped Billboard Top 200 just a few days after its release in the USA. Il Divo became the first classical- crossover group in music history that managed to top Billboard 200.