Luciano Pavarotti has returned to the UK singles chart with Nessun Dorma, three days after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.

The tenor died on Thursday aged 71, with download sales of his signature aria catapulting the iconic track to number 24 in the charts.

More than 17 years ago Nessun Dorma, from Puccini's Turandot, reached number two after being popularised as BBC1's theme tune for the Italia 90 World Cup.

Thousands of mourners crowded around Modena cathedral on Saturday as Pavarotti's funeral was held, which was attended by Italian prime minister Romano Prodi and concluded with a flyby by the country's air force.

Back in the charts, 17-year-old rap-pop sensation Sean Kingston is still at number one with Beautiful Girls, while Hey There Delilah by the Plain White T's replaces Kanye West's Stronger at number two.

Sexy No No No by pop quintet Girls Aloud is the highest new entry at five; one place below James Blunt's 1973.

And in the album's chart Hard-Fi have a number one with Once Upon a Time in the West, with the top five also seeing new entries from Plain White T's and Athlete.

Top ten UK singles (last week's position)

1 Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston (1)
2 Hey There Delilah – Plain White T's (3)
3 Stronger – Kanye West (2)
4 1973 – James Blunt (10)
5 Sexy No No No – Girls Aloud (new entry)
6 Shut Up And Drive – Rihanna (5)
7 With Every Heartbeat – Robyn With Kleerup (4)
8 Ayo Technology – 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake (11)
9 She's So Lovely – Scouting For Girls (19)
10 The Way I Are – Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson (4)

Top five UK albums

1 Once Upon a Time in the West – Hard-Fi (new entry)
2 Back to Black – Amy Winehouse (2)
3 Every Second Counts – Plain White T's (new entry)
4 Hand Built by Robots – Newton Faulkner (1)
5 Beyond the Neighbourhood – Athlete (new entry)

09/09/2007 20:10:09