Crafty, Croatian cello duo 2Cellos first garnered public attention after uploading a cello-only cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" to YouTube. Formed by longtime friends and seasoned players Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, the pair inked a deal with Sony Masterworks in 2010 and released their eponymous debut album the following year, which featured cello-centric covers of tracks from the likes of U2 ("Where the Streets Have No Name"), Kings of Leon ("Use Somebody"), and Nine Inch Nails ("Hurt"), as well as a new version of the Michael Jackson track that helped launch their pop careers. It reached number one on the Billboard Classical Albums chart.
In2ition, released in 2013, mined the same pop/rock territory, with highlights arriving via classical crossover takes on songs from AC/DC ("Highway to Hell") and Coldplay ("Clocks"), and the Šulić and Hauser original, "Orient Express." The duo's third studio album, 2015's Celloverse, included spirited takes on Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," AC/DC's "Thunderstruck," and Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait." 2Cellos next went to the movies with 2017's Score, including material from film and television (among others, Game of Thrones, Titanic, Chariots of Fire, Braveheart, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring). A collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor and arranger Robin Smith, it became their fourth straight appearance in the Billboard 200 and their third classical number one. ~ James Christopher Monger