Saturday, September 15, 2012

R.I.P. Singer of “Native New Yorker,” Lillian Lopez Dead at 76

Lillian Lopez, one of the founding members of the dance group Odyssey, passed away on Tuesday from cancer. She was 76.

Her son, Steven Andre, announced her death on the band’s Facebook tribute page:

It is with tremendous sadness that I announce the passing of my Mother, my mentor, and my very best friend, the founder and first voice of ODYSSEY, Lillian Lopez Collazo Jackson, who died peacefully in hospice on September 4th due to stage four cancer at the age of 76…

She will live on in spirit through Annis, Anne, and me as we endeavour to carry on her legacy; to continue the musical journey that is, and always was, ODYSSEY… And of course, her magical voice can still be heard on practically any day, anywhere in the UK: When next you do, and if you can, TURN IT UP! She’d like that… Goodbye Ma, and Thank You.

The site provides more information about her life and career–

The Song: Native New Yorker was song written by Sandy Linzer & Denny Randell & was a 1977 hit single for the dance band Odyssey, which reached number five on the UK charts. In the U.S., the song went to number three on the disco chart. Native New Yorker also went to number six on the soul chart & number twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was also recorded by Frankie Valli in 1977, Esther Phillips in 1978 & Black Box in 1998. The song was later sampled by Rich Cronin’s band Loose Cannons for their song New York City.

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