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Remembering Luciano Pavarotti with 'Soul'


The world of opera lost one of its greatest tenors today. Opera legend Luciano Pavarotti died at the age of 71 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Pavarotti is credited with bringing opera to the masses. This was no more apparent than during the 1998 Grammy Awards. Pavarotti, scheduled to perform, was sick, and they needed a replacement, so they turned to Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, to sing one of Puccini's most famous arias, "Nessun Dorma" - in Italian, no less. With just minutes to prepare, she performed a stunning rendition, paying homage to Pavarotti and the power of the music he loved.

(Soundbite of aria, "Nessun Dorma")

Ms. ARETHA FRANKLIN (Singer): (Singing in Italian)

Mr. LUCIANO PAVAROTTI (Opera Tenor): (Singing in Italian)

NEARY: Luciano Pavarotti died today at the age of 71. And that's our program for today.

I'm Lynn Neary, in for Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.