Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballe has died at the age of 85.
She was renowned for her bel canto technique and her interpretations of the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, as well as her 1987 collaboration with Freddie Mercury.
A spokesperson for the Hospital Sant Pau confirmed her death early on Saturday.
Montserrat had been staying in the Barcelona hospital since September after entering because of a gall bladder problem.
However, spokesman Abraham del Moral said the singer’s family had requested her cause of death not be released.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has paid tribute, saying: “A great ambassador of our country has died. Her voice and tenderness will remain with us forever.”
During her carrer, Montserrat starred in 90 opera roles with nearly 4,000 stage performances.
In a brief excursion into pop music, she dueted with Freddie Mercury on the song ‘Barcelona’, which was a hit in 1987, accompanied by an album of the same name.
The title track later became the anthem of the 1992 Summer Olympics in the city.
Montserrat performed the song live, accompanied by a recording of the late Mercury, at the 1999 Champions League football final in Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium.
In 2015, she was convicted of tax fraud and given a suspended sentence of six months in prison. She had failed to pay the Spanish treasury more than 500,000 euros in taxes on her earnings.