CLOSE
Jessye Norman In 'Ariadne Auf Naxos'

Source: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images / Getty

We’ve lost another legend: Opera legend Jessye Norman.

According to the New York Times, the “majestic Sorprano” and multiple Grammy winner passed on Monday her family says. She was 74 years old.

She died of septic shock and multiple organ failure following complications of a spinal cord injury she suffered in 2015, her family said in a public statement.

The Times noted that she was “one of the most decorated of American singers,” winning five Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award, along with the “prestigious Kennedy Center Honor in 1997 and the National Medal of Arts in 2009.”

As a Black woman, Norman was a trailblazer in her field citing ” Marian AndersonDorothy Maynor and Leontyne Price, among others, in a 1983 interview with The Times. She starred in dozens of operas around the world and was the first African-American woman to headline a concert on the main stage of Carnegie Hall.

“Norman sang more than 80 performances with the company, dazzling audiences with her beautiful tone, extraordinary power, and musical sensitivity,” the Met said in a statement.

Born on September 15, 1945, in Augusta, Georgia, Norman later earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Howard University and studied at the University of Michigan and Peabody Institute, CNN reported.  In 2014, she published her memoir that her memoir, “Stand Up Straight and Sing!” (2014), where she told many stories of her upbringing, her journey as an opera singer and the racism she endured throughout the years.

News of her death was met with many condolences on Twitter:

So to celebrate the icon, here are 20 breathtaking images of her over the years. Rest in power Jessye:

1.

2. MOROCCO-MUSIC-FESTIVAL

MOROCCO-MUSIC-FESTIVAL Source:Getty

US singer Jessie Norman performs late on June 6, 2008 during the 14th Sacred World Music Festival

3.

US-POLITICS-OBAMA-HEALTH Source:Getty

US President Barack Obama presents the 2009 National Medal of Arts to opera singer Jessye Norman during a ceremony on February 25, 2010.

4.

FRANCE-US-ARTS-OPERA Source:Getty

In this photograph taken on June 23, 1983, US soprano Jessye Norman performs Mahler’s Symphonie number 2 at The Basilica Cathedral of Saint Denis in Paris. – Celebrated opera singer Jessye Norman, an American soprano who showcased her majestic voice in performances around the world, died September 30, 2019, her family said. She was 74 years old. (Photo by Ringuin / AFP) (Photo credit should read RINGUIN/AFP/Getty Images) photography,france,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,family,celebration,paris – france,theatrical performance,performance,singer,death,1980-1989,archival,performing arts event,majestic,voice,opera,number 2,soprano singer,jessye norman,gustav mahler

5.

FRANCE-US-ARTS-OPERA Source:Getty

In this photograph taken on March 23, 1984, US soprano Jessye Norman performs in Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aneas’ at Opera Comique in Paris.

6.

FRANCE-US-ARTS-OPERA Source:Getty

In this photograph taken on April 13, 1984, US soprano Jessye Norman (R) poses with Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus (L) and then Culture Minister Jack Lang (C) after they received the Commandre de l’ordre ses Arts et Lettres at The Ministry of Culture in Paris.

7.

FRANCE-US-ARTS-OPERA Source:Getty

In this photograph taken on April 13, 1984, US soprano Jessye Norman (R) poses with Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus (L) and then Culture Minister Jack Lang (C) after they received the Commandre de l’ordre ses Arts et Lettres at The Ministry of Culture in Paris.

8.

FRANCE-US-ARTS-OPERA Source:Getty

In this photograph taken on March 23, 1984, US soprano Jessye Norman performs in Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aneas’ at Opera Comique in Paris.

9.

FRANCE-US-ARTS-OPERA Source:Getty

In this photograph taken on March 23, 1984, US soprano Jessye Norman performs in Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aneas’ at Opera Comique in Paris.

10.

FRANCE-US-ARTS-OPERA Source:Getty

In this photograph taken on June 21, 1990, US soprano Jessye Norman (L) speaks with then French Prime Minister Michel Rocard after she was invested with La Croix de Chevalier de La Legion d’honneur in Paris.

11.

MUSIQUE-OPERA-NORMAN Source:Getty

12.

MUSIQUE-OPERA-NORMAN Source:Getty

13.

Black American soprano Jessye Norman in Australia to tour with the ABC., at the Hyatt Kingsgate, Kings Cross. Source:Getty

Black American soprano Jessye Norman in Australia to tour with the ABC in 1981.

14.

Inauguration de la Statue de la Liberté à Paris en 1986 Source:Getty

15.

Jessye Norman In 'Ariadne Auf Naxos' Source:Getty

16. Portrait de Jessye Norman

Portrait de Jessye Norman Source:Getty

1987 portrait de Jessye Norman in Paris.

17.

Opera Singer Jessye Norman Singing In Nantes... Source:Getty

18.

Clinton On Re-Election Night Source:Getty

President Bill Clinton celebrates with opera singer Jessye Norman and actress Anna Deavere Smith on election night backstage at the Old State House, Little Rock, Arkansas, November 5, 1996.

19.

Patrick McMullan Archives Source:Getty

Jessye Norman Performance attends S.L.E. LUPUS FOUNDATION 40th Anniversary Gala at Avery Fisher Hall on November 22, 2010 in New York City.

20.

Patrick McMullan Archives Source:Getty

– AUGUST 30: Jessye Norman attends Watermill Concert 2008 The Last Song of Summer Rufus Wainwright with his special guest Jessye Norman at Watermill Center on August 30, 2008 in New York.

More From HelloBeautiful
×