2Cellos in Glendale, California on 4 August 2011
|Genres||Cello Rock , Rock, Pop, classical|
|Years active||2011 (2011)–present|
2Cellos (stylized 2CELLOS) is a Slovenian-Croatian  cello duo consisting of Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. Signed to Sony Masterworks since 12 April 2011, the two were discovered after uploading a music video of their cello-only cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" to YouTube.
Šulić, born in Maribor, SR Slovenia (now Slovenia) and Hauser, born in Pula, SR Croatia (now Croatia), met at a master class in Croatia while still in their teens. Šulić—the younger of the two by a year—and Hauser attended the Academy of Music in Zagreb together, and both then travelled to study in Vienna. Šulić later entered London's Royal Academy of Music, while Hauser attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. The duo rose to fame after their cover of "Smooth Criminal" became a hit on YouTube, receiving over three million views in the first two weeks and nearly eight million views in all. The creation of the music video was prompted by the cellists' financial difficulties, despite their musical success in the UK. The duo met in Pula, where one of Hauser's friends, a director, proposed that they try the pop music market by creating a video to "Smooth Criminal." The video, originally posted on 20 January 2011, features Šulić and Hauser facing off alone in a large white room, playing Jackson's tune. In fact, before they became partners, the two cellists were sometimes considered rivals, competing against each other in music contests.
2Cellos is currently signed to record label Sony Masterworks and finished recording their first album in May 2011, which will carry the Menart Records name in Croatia. Released on 19 July 2011, the album includes covers of songs by U2, Guns N' Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Sting, Coldplay, Nirvana, Muse, and Kings of Leon. Hauser told la Repubblica that the album would also feature a cello version of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature." The duo said that they chose songs that could be adapted into covers playable on only two cellos. In anticipation of the release, 2Cellos released their second single "Welcome to the Jungle," a cover of the Guns N' Roses song of the same name.
As a result of 2Cellos' success, English singer Elton John asked the duo to appear with him on his summer tour, which began in Cardiff on 8 June 2011. John, who personally called Šulić, said that he had watched the "Smooth Criminal" video and wanted 2Cellos to participate in the thirty-city tour. The two had previously performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show of 25 April 2011. 2Cellos also performed on 25 July 2011 at the 2011 iTunes Festival in London.
The duo performed an arrangement of "Smooth Criminal" in the third season of the television show Glee. The episode in which they appeared, titled "Michael", aired on 31 January 2012, and was the first time that the series highlighted instrumental musicians. The scene featuring "Smooth Criminal" was set up similar to 2Cellos' original music video for the song. On 4 June 2012 2Cellos performed with Elton John at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace.On 12 June 2012 2Cellos performed in front of full Arena Zagreb.
Although the two record covers of mainly rock songs, Šulić and Hauser say they still play with orchestras and will not abandon playing classical music. The cellists say they would someday like to go on tour with both a classical and a contemporary orchestra. 2Cellos are currently working on their new album while touring with Sir Elton John. The album, entitled In2ition, came out early 2013, and features new twists on a diverse range of classic tracks with a few surprise vocal and instrumental duet partners including Elton John, Lang Lang, Naya Rivera, Steve Vai, Sky Ferreira and Zucchero. The album is being produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin (Peter Gabriel, KISS, Pink Floyd). Known tracks include covers of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" featuring Vai, Coldplay's "Clocks" featuring Lang Lang, Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole" featuring Rivera, an Italian version of "The Book of Love" by The Magnetic Fields entitled "Il Libro Dell'Amore" featuring Zucchero, Karl Jenkins' "Benedictus", and "Oh Well" featuring Sir Elton.
2Cellos' debut studio album comprises twelve tracks and one additional bonus track from iTunes.
Chad Grischow of IGN Music called the duo's Nirvana cover "astonishing" and the U2 covers "nothing short of magical." However, he was unimpressed by "The Resistance," and wrote that "'Viva La Vida' is too obvious a choice" for the album.
The album peaked at number 85 on the US Billboard 200, and number 1 on the US Billboard Top Classical Albums chart.
In 2012 2Cellos received 2 Porin (Famous Croatian Music Award) for best international album and for the best international song "Smooth Criminal"
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