Famous Italian opera star Luciano Pavarotti, who is hailed by many as the greatest tenor of his entire generation, was in serious condition on Wednesday after a battle with cancer.
Yahoo news reports that the 71-year-old rotund singer, who helped bring opera to the masses and performed to vast stadium audiences around the world, had briefly lost consciousness.
In his home city of Modena, a TV station said he was unconscious and suffering from kidney failure, and that his family and friends had gathered at his villa to be near the singer. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer back in July 2006.
Medical authorities declined to comment on his condition but one of Pavarotti's friends said she had also heard he was in a serious condition.
Neither his family or his manager could be reached for comment about Pavarotti.
The singer shot to fame with a stand-in appearance at London's Covent Garden in 1963 and soon after he had the critics won over. Some believe that his biggest gift to the music world was when he teamed up with Spanish stars Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras at the 1990 soccer World Cup. This introduced operatic classics to an estimated 800 million television viewers around the world.
After his surgery in July of last year in New York, he retreated to his Modena villa and a few months later, had to cancel his first planned public reappearance. Last month he was taken to the hospital with a fever and released on August 25 after more than two weeks of tests and treatment.