Opera legend Jessye Norman, who has won four Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and the Kennedy Center Honor, has died, according to a family spokesperson. She was 74.
The renowned international opera star died on Monday from septic shock and multi-organ failure secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015, according to a family statement issued to the Associated Press.
“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,” a statement from her family read. “We are equally proud of her humanitarian endeavors addressing matters such as hunger, homelessness, youth development, and arts and culture education.”
Norman was a trailblazing performer, and one of the rare African-American singers to attain worldwide stardom in the opera world. Norman sang at the second inaugurations of presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. She also sang at the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics, which were held in her home state of Georgia.