The funeral service for Luciano Pavarotti has begun in his hometown of Modena, Italy, with singers Placido Domingo, JOSE CARRERAS and U2 rocker Bono among the stars in attendance.
The Italian maestro, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 71 on Thursday (06Sep07), will be laid to rest in a cemetary close to his family home, following the rememberance service at Modena Cathedral on Saturday (08Sep07).
Blind tenor Andrea Bocelli is expected to perform the hymn Panis Angelicus at the funeral service, which is being conducted by the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
Prior to the ceremony, Pavarotti's daughter Guiliana - from his marriage to first wife Adua Veroni - thanked the thousands of fans who had gathered outside the venue to pay their respects to the legend.
She said, "The great love for Pavarotti is extremely well-deserved and heart-warming. The family has been sustained by the warmth of the people."