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Luciano Pavarotti Succumbs to Cancer at 71

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LUCIANO PAVAROTTI: (Singing in Italian)

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Today, we're remembering opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti. Critics and opera fans swooned over his rich voice and his dramatic presence. Pavarotti also took his music to a wider audience. He teamed up with fellow tenors and pop stars.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

You could hear him with the Spice Girls or with James Brown. Critics wrote off performances like that. They said that Pavarotti was sacrificing his art for broader commercial appeal. But he carved his own path until his death from complications related to pancreatic cancer at the age of 71.

In an interview with the Associated Press in 2004, Pavarotti said he did not accept that the word pop was a derogatory word. He went on to say if the word classic is the word to say boring, I do not accept it. There is good and bad music.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

PAVAROTTI: (Singing in Italian)

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.