Swiss Singer Enjoying Wild Ride With Il Divo
Il Divo heart-throb Urs Buhler has become a multi-millionaire thanks to Simon Cowell’s popera group.
But the Swiss-born singer who grew up in a small village admits his teenage dream was to be a rock singer.
“I was a singer in a rock band when I was a teenager,” Urs tells Shuffle. “And when I started getting into music I definitely wanted to be a rock star.”
Then Simon Cowell waved his magic wand and created Il Divo, whose latest album is called A Musical Affair, featuring songs from the popular musicals.
Ten years down the line, Urs says today he considers himself to be the luckiest man in the world.
“Simon Cowell had a great idea… and we’re it,” Urs says. “I still have to pinch myself. It’s not a novelty anymore, but it’s absolutely as exciting as the first day. I love every moment of it.”
Urs says all the Il Divo members, including Sebastien Izambard from France, Carlos Marin from Spain and David Miller from America, have grown close over the years.
He says: “Nobody has gone through what we four have gone through over the past 10 years and that’s a bond that’s irreplaceable. We’re like brothers.
“Everybody knows that in the beginning, when we came together, we were complete strangers. When we started working together it was really difficult, but we have got to know each other so well.”
Il Divo has given Urs and the boys incredible experiences, including touring with Barbra Streisand and a recent residency on New York’s Broadway.
“We were performing the songs on our new album because it’s musical repertoire, and I remember thinking that I had come a long way from my village in Switzerland,” he says.
“I had a very happy childhood growing up with an older brother and three sisters. The woods and outdoors were on my doorstep. I did boys’ things like climbing trees and jumping off rocks. And because it’s a small village I grew up very protected.”
Back in those days, Urs never dreamt that he would tour with one of the world’s greatest divas Barbra Streisand, who duets with them on their new album.
He says: “That was back in 2006 when our career was still in its infancy, so it was such an honour to get invited on to her tour. And we weren’t just her opening act, she integrated us into her set. We performed while she took a break and went backstage.
“Getting to know and work closely with someone of that calibre, who is so accomplished and versatile, was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Every minute we were with her we soaked up the experience.”
Despite the phenomenal success of Il Divo, Urs says he doesn’t take it for granted.
“I still think every album might be the last one,” he admits. “You never know if audiences will still appreciate what you’re doing in a year from now.”
The four handsome stars enjoy a massive female following.
“Oh yeeeah, it’s like every male group wishes for,” Urs laughs. “But our research tells us that the male percentage of our audience is bigger than you would expect. I don’t think what we are doing is meant to appeal only to women.”
The classical crossover group have sold more than 26 million albums worldwide, with their latest, A Musical Affair – The Greatest Songs Of Broadway Live, set to be a huge hit this Christmas.
Tracks include classics like Some Enchanted Evening (South Pacific), Bring Him Home (Les Miserables) and Music Of The Night (Phantom of the Opera) featuring Barbra Streisand.