Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pavarotti, king of tenors passes on

Luciano Pavarotti, The world famous Italian opera singer who used his unforced tenor voice to become a 20th-century celebrity, died Thursday at his home in Modena, Italy, after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer, according to The Associated Press. He was 71.

The maestro took opera outside the concert hall: performances before 150,000 people, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, in London's Hyde Park in 1991; 500,000 on the Great Lawn of New York's Central Park in 1993; and 300,000 in 1994 at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Pavarotti shared the stage with rock and pop singers, including Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Bono of U2, to raise money for charities.

The portly bearded singer at times 300 pounds or more retired from staged opera in 2004, but was on a "farewell tour" of concerts when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006 and underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumor.

Pavarotti was planning to resume his singing in 2007, but to the sad loss of millions of his fans around the world, his farewell tour has now turned out to be his swan song.

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