Carlos Marin of Il Divo during the Grand Opening of The Mall of Qatar in 2017 (Photo: John Phillips/Getty Images for Mall of Qatar)
Il Divo singer Carlos Marin has died aged 53, the group has announced.
In a statement on Twitter, they said: “It is with heavy hearts that we are letting you know that our friend and partner, Carlos Marin, has passed away.
“He will be missed by his friends, family and fans. There will 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. With Love — David, Sebastien and Urs.”
Here is everything you need to know.
Who was Carlos Marin?
Born in Germany but raised in Madrid, Carlos Marín started his career in music early in life, recording his first album when he was eight years old.
During his teens, Marin won several awards in Spanish television contests, and also started to sing on live television shows accompanied by an orchestra.
He earned an important reputation as a musical performer, and in the 90s, began performing in musicals, such as Les Misérables, Beauty and the Beast (where he suffered an accident that left him with a broken ankle) and Grease.
In 2003, he became a member of the international musical quartet Il Divo along with Urs Bühler, Sébastien Izambard and David Miller.
The classical crossover group, composed of a global melting pot of singing stars, was formed by Simon Cowell in 2003 under his SyCo record label, though they later parted ways with the music mogul.
In his personal life, Marin was married to French-born singer Geraldine Larrosa – better known by her stage name Innocence – until 2009.
Who has paid tribute?
Simon Cowell led a flood of social media tributes to Marin, writing on Twitter he was “devastated” by the news.
“I am finding this so difficult to put into words how I feel right now,” Cowell said. “I am devastated Carlos Marin has passed away. He loved life. He loved performing and always had so much appreciation towards the fans who supported the group from day 1. Rest in peace Carlos. I will miss you.”
Television presenter Lorraine Kelly tweeted: “This is so sad. I had the joy of interviewing Carlos and Il Divo many times over the years. He was such a class act. Thoughts with everyone who loved him”.
Bruno Tonioli, a judge on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, wrote: “Devastated @ildivoofficial @carlosmarin_ passed away.
“We had the best time putting together the first @ildivoofficial performance 17 yeas ago. Great voice, great man, a true passionate Spirit with a wicked sense of humour we will miss you so sad.”
Australian singer-songwriter and former front man of pop duo Savage Garden, Darren Hayes, said on Twitter: “To the family, friends and fans of Carlos Marin I send my deepest condolences … I’m so sorry for your loss.”
What did he die of?
On 16 December, the group had posted that Marin was “in the hospital” and that they were “hoping and praying for a speedy recovery”.
The cause of death was not immediately made clear, though reports in Spanish media suggested Marin was intubated after being admitted to an intensive care unit in Manchester.
Since then, Marin’s sister Rosa has confirmed that he “died because he was infected with the Delta variant of Covid.”
She said fans will be able to pay their respects at a public wake to be held in Madrid next year, though the singer’s coffin will be closed due to coronavirus restrictions.
‘Carlos will be buried in his favourite Armani suit, the one he used for his stage performance, so he can go to Heaven looking the part and can sing with the angels,’ she said.
Rosa flew to Britain after her brother was admitted to hospital on 7 December, and told Spanish ABC Daily that Marin “began to feel unwell after he arrived in Manchester”’ and “ended up having breathing difficulties.”
“When he arrived they did tests and discovered it was Covid,” she added.
Il Divo had postponed the rest of their December UK tour dates by a year “due to illness”. Marin had been on stage performing earlier this month.
As for whether he was vaccinated against coronavirus, Rosa claimed that Marin received the Janssen vaccine, a single-dose shot approved to protect against coronavirus, although not one that is currently available in the UK
The Janssen vaccine is administered to adults aged 18 years and older and causes the immune system to produce antibodies and specialised white blood cells that protect against Covid.
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