Carlos Marín of the iconic classical crossover group Il Divo has died aged 53. 

A statement on the group’s official Twitter account confirmed the news. “It is with heavy hearts that we are letting you know that our friend and partner, Carlos Marin, has passed away,” it said. “He will be missed by his friends, family and fans. There will never be another voice or spirit like Carlos.”

The statement continued: “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.”

Marín was admitted to hospital earlier this month, leading to the postponement of Il Divo’s U.K. Christmas tour. El Pais reported that the singer was then placed into an induced coma at the hospital in Manchester. The full extent of his illness remains undisclosed.

Il Divo was formed by Simon Cowell in 2003 for his label Syco Music. The international male quartet consisted of Marín (Spain), Urs Bühler (Switzerland), David Miller (U.S.), and Sébastien Izambard (France).

The group became a global sensation, selling over 30 million copies of their albums worldwide. They were a hugely popular touring act, selling over two million concerts tickets worldwide from just their first four albums. Two of their ten studio albums reached number one on the ARIA Album Chart, 2004’s Il Divo and 2005’s Ancora.

Marín was born in Germany but moved to Spain at the age of 12. He performed as a baritone in Il Divo. “Singing is my way of saying what I feel, my way of life,” he is quoted as saying on the group’s official website. “Singing is what makes me feel alive, so thank you for letting me continue making a living from what I love.”

Check out ‘The Time of Our Lives’ by Il Divo:

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