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Hundreds gather to pay last respects to Pavarotti

Grieving townpeople and tourists have gathered at the piazza in front of the city's Cathedral in Modena, Italy, mourning the death of Luciano Pavarotti. Italian opera legend, the city's favourite son, died on Thursday at the age of 71.

Recently his health deteriorated with doctors saying the singer was in a grave condition. The renowned tenor had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer at home since returning from hospital two weeks ago. He went through major surgery for cancer last year.

Luciano Pavarotti began his musical career over 40 years ago, starring in Puccini's La Boheme. He  has been hailed as the greatest tenor of his generation.

Pavarotti was famous for making opera more mainstream – his annual “Pavarotti and Friends” concerts drew pop stars like Sting, Queen and U2.

But perhaps he was most famous for teaming up with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras for the 1990 football World Cup. It became the biggest-selling classical music record of all time.

'Big Luciano' also amazed thousands of fans when he hit nine C notes in a row at a performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

The star was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006. His health led to the cancellation of several shows on his farewell world tour. Moscow was supposed to be one of the cities he wanted to say goodbye to. 

Love for the tenor never flailed in the hearts of his fans. Just days before his death, Pavarotti was given the highest award for his input into Italian music by the country’s Ministry of Culture.