ROME - Luciano Pavarotti, opera's biggest superstar of the late 20th century, died Thursday. He was 71. He was the son of a singing baker and became the king of the high C's.
Pavarotti, who had been diagnosed last year with pancreatic cancer and underwent treatment last month, died at his home in his native Modena at 5 a.m., his manager told The Associated Press in an e-mailed statement.
His wife, Nicoletta, four daughters and sister were among family and friends at his side, manager Terri Robson said.
"The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer," Robson said. "In fitting with the approach that characterised his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness."
I'll never forget the first day I herd Pavarotti. I hated Opera. DESPISED it. I thought opera singers were preening egomaniacs with zero knowledge of music outside of something with a massive voice wailing over the orchestration. All that snobbery went down the drain when I herd Pavarotti.
I stood in the Blockbuster Music, classical section and cried as I randomly played Nessun Dorma sung from the Three Tenors concert that everyone was going nuts over. The sound soaked into my soul and has never left. I have been a devoted fan ever since.
I am sad to have never had the chance to see him in concert.