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Album: Il Divo, An Evening with Il Divo: Live in Barcelona (Syco)

The invention of "Operatic Pop" may be Simon Cowell's musical legacy. Togged up in Armani, the quartet Il Divo here run through their repertoire – pop ballads like "Nights In White Satin", "Without You" and "My Way" given Italian translations and belted out with orchestral accompaniment – in front of 20,000 fans in Barcelona.

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Il Divo, 02 Arena, London

The Three Tenors with boy-band looks, singing The X Factor's karaoke songbook: the equation Simon Cowell made to arrive at Il Divo seems simple enough. Thirty million album sales later, the sum adds up, commercially. But for the three thirtysomething opera singers and one minor French pop star who answered Cowell's latest talent search, something rings hollow. The opera men – American tenor David Miller, Swiss tenor Urs Buhler and Spanish baritone Carlos Marin – were established singers, committed to honing their art, before being able "to pay my rent for a year", in Buhler's words, diverted them. That was five years and four albums ago. Il Divo is their artistic life now: operatic vocals shorn of opera's epic emotional sweep, but gifted with a huge audience. Unlike the desperate hopefuls Cowell toys with on TV, these men have given something up to be here, and know it. Every note is compromised. But within Il Divo's weird musical shackles, they give everything they can.

Cowell denies deep freeze plan

Simon Cowell's camp has denied he is planning to have his body frozen after he dies.

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Pop moguls fall out over copycat show claims

In the greatest battle of the moguls since the days of Akbar the Great, Simon Fuller, the Spice Girls' Svengali, yesterday declared war on his former ally, Simon Cowell, the self-styled sultan of swing.

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