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Montserrat Caballe, the opera singer who duetted on Barcelona with Freddie Mercury, has died aged 85.

The 85-year-old diva had reportedly been in the city's Hospital Sant Pau since late last month, where she was receiving help for a chronic gallbladder issue. Caballe's family requested the cause of death not be released, del Moral said, adding that she had been in the hospital since September.

Born into a working class family in Barcelona, Caballe unveiled her musical talents early on, singing Bach cantatas at the age of 7.

Her voice was noted for its purity, precise control and power using superb technique and vocal shadings, as well as pianissimos, which were inspired by Spanish operatic tenor Miguel Fleta.

During her carrer, Montserrat starred in 90 opera roles with almost 4,000 stage performances.

Cabelle, who had been ill for some years, dueted with Queen's Freddie Mercury on the song "Barcelona" which was a worldwide hit in 1987.

The opera star, who was accepted for tuition in a Barcelona music conservatory as a child, had her worldwide breakthrough in 1965, in a performance of Lucrezia Borgia at the Carnegie Hall in NY.

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"Her personality and her unique voice will always be with us".

Her career spanned 50 years.

The performance won her great acclaim from the public and made her an overnight sensation.

She was admired around the world for her versatility and as one of the greatest opera stars to have graced the stage.

In 1964, she married tenor Bernabe Marti and one of their children, Montserrat Marti, is also a soprano.

In 2015, she was convicted of tax fraud and given a suspended sentence of six months in prison.