“Luciano Pavarotti was one of the finest singers of our time,” the Royal Opera House in London said in a statement.
“He had a unique ability to touch people with the emotional and brilliant quality of his voice. He was a man with the common touch and the most extraordinary gift. He will be truly missed by millions,” the statement said.
To the shock of some classical music purists, the larger than life singer extended his appeal far beyond the operatic world, collaborating with pop stars like Sting, U2 and even the Spice Girls.
U2 frontman Bono, who duetted with Pavarotti on a single about the plight of the Bosnian people, hailed the tenor as “a great volcano of a man who sang fire”.
“Some can sing opera, Luciano Pavarotti was an opera. No one could inhabit those acrobatic melodies and words like him,” Bono said.