SIMON COWELL has paid tribute to Carlos Marín, after the Il Divo singer passed away at the age of 53.
The group, which was put together by music mogul Cowell in 2003, announced Marín's passing on Sunday.
Reports have claimed the German-born Spaniard died as a result of Covid after being admitted to Manchester Royal Hospital on December 8.
Paying tribute, Cowell said Marín "loved life".
"I am finding this so difficult to put into words how I feel right now," he said in a statement.
"I am devastated Carlos Marín 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."
'We will miss our dear friend'
Since being founded by Cowell, 'popera' act Il Divo have sold 30million records worldwide.
Fellow band members David Miller, Sébastien Izambard and Urs Búhler said "there will never be another voice or spirit like Carlos".
"It is with heavy hearts that we are letting you know that our friend and partner, Carlos Marín, has passed away," they said.
"He will be missed by his friends, family and fans.
"There wiIl 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."
Other stars have paid tribute to Márin, with singer Michael Ball describing him as "a charismatic, charming and hugely talented man".
Choreographer Bruno Tonioli said Marin was "a true passionate spirit with [a] wicked sense of humour".
Meanwhile, Britain's Got talent winners Collabro said: "His voice and stage presence were spectacular and he was as brilliant off stage as he was whilst performing."