NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) – International opera star Jessye Norman passed away Monday (Sept. 30), according to family spokesperson Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 74.
Norman died of septic shock and multi-organ failure secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015, according to The Associated Press. She was reportedly surrounded by loved ones at the time of her passing.
The New York Metropolitan Opera described Norman as “one of the great sopranos of the past half-century,” noting that she gave 80 performances with the company, “dazzling audiences with her beautiful tone, extraordinary power, and musical sensitivity.”
Norman was the recipient of four Grammy awards and a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy.
In 2002, she founded the Jessye Norman School of the Arts in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia. The school provides programming designed to develop and nurture the artistic and creative talents of students.
In a statement, the school’s faculty said: “As an opera superstar, [Jessye] commanded the world’s stages, but here in Augusta, she quietly used the arts to make a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of children each year. The world knew her voice and our school knew her kindness and generous heart. She challenged all of us to live up to our full potential and to represent something larger than ourselves. She will be greatly missed.”
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made public.