April 4, 2011 / 10:43 AM / 8 years ago

Il Divo opera/pop group to receive Classic BRIT

LONDON (Reuters) - International opera/pop singers Il Divo will receive the inaugural “Artist of the Decade” prize at the Classic BRIT Awards in London on May 12.

Britain’s recorded music industry association the BPI added on Monday that the group, comprising four singers from France, the United States, Spain and Switzerland, will perform a new song at the awards show at the Royal Albert Hall.

Il Divo, signed to television personality and music producer Simon Cowell’s Syco label, has sold more than 25 million albums since its debut hit the shelves in 2004, according to its official website.

“Ancora,” the group’s second album, debuted at No. 1 in the key U.S. market, becoming the only classical crossover album ever to do so on the Billboard Top 200 ranking.

“When we joined Il Divo none of us had done anything like this before,” said band member David Miller.

“We were excited to break from our traditional roots and create something new ... Performing and recording are what we love, but receiving this award is a great honor.”

The Classic BRIT Awards were established in 2000 to recognize all forms of classical music from traditional to crossover.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato

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