Tributes paid as ‘Barcelona’ singer Montserrat Caballé dies aged 85


Tributes have been paid to opera singer Montserrat Caballé, best known for duetting with Freddie Mercury on ‘Barcelona’, who has died at the age of 85.

The singer recorded the epic duet with the late Queen frontman in 1987, before it went on to become the signature song of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

According to local media, the singer had been suffering from ill health for a sustained period and was admitted to hospital in Barcelona last month.

In a career spanning over 50 years, Caballé enjoyed early stints at the Basel Opera before a performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall catapulted her to worldwide attention.

At the peak of her fame,Caballé performed with the Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera, as well as performing on star-studded bills that included the likes of Luciano Pavarotti.

But as well as acclaimed performances in the world of opera, the singer cemented her place in popular culture after teaming up with Mercury in 1987 for the operatic duet.

Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe, late 1980s.

After reaching number eight in the UK charts in 1987, the song received renewed popularity when it became the anthem of the Olympics in 1992 – only a year after Mercury’s death.

Posting on Twitter, the Royal Opera wrote: “All at The Royal Opera are saddened to hear of the death of Montserrat Caballé aged 85.

“The Spanish soprano sang with us on a number of occasions between 1972 and 1992 and inspired millions over the course of her career with her stunning voice.”

Actor Luke Evans described her as “One of the most incredible voices I’ve ever heard”.

The world renowned Soprano had experienced extensive bouts of ill health throughout her career, having spent three months in hospital while undergoing treatment for a brain tumour in 1985.

She also underwent treatment for a heart issue in 1993.

It’s expected that she’ll be buried in Barcelona on Monday.