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Opera Great Jessye Norman Has Died

The internationally renowned soprano received numerous achievements, including a National Medal of Honor

The opera world has lost a legend. Jessye Norman has passed away in New York City. She was 74 years old.

An internationally renowned soprano known for her leading role in Aida, Norman received a Kennedy Center Honor and a National Medal of Arts. She made her Met debut in 1983 as Cassandre in Berlioz’s “Les Troyens” and would perform over 80 times on their storied stage. Norman, who received her bachelor’s of music from Howard University, was a four-time Grammy Award winner.

Opera Great Jessye Norman Has Died
US President Barack Obama presents the 2009 National Medal of Arts to opera singer Jessye Norman during a ceremony February 25, 2010 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Norman’s family spokesperson, Gwendolyn Quinn, released the below statement.

“We are so proud of Jessye’s musical achievements and the inspiration that she provided to audiences around the world that will continue to be a source of joy. We are equally proud of her humanitarian endeavors addressing matters such as hunger, homelessness, youth development, and arts and culture education.”

Norman was the eldest of five children. She’s survived by two siblings, James Norman and Elaine Sturkey. The official cause of death was septic shock and multi-organ failure secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015.

According to The New York Times, during Monday’s night performance of “Porgy and Bess” at the Met, the house will dedicate its performance to Ms. Norman.