Singing legend, Eydie Gormé, died Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas, her spokesman Howard Bragman, told PEOPLE. She was 84-years-old.
“Legendary singer and performer Eydie Gorme passed away peacefully today at Sunrise Hospital following a brief illness,” Bragman said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her husband, son and other loved ones at the time of her death.”
She performed everything from ballads to bossa nova with her singing partner and husband Steve Lawrence. Steve Lawrence issued his own statement saying, “Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing.” He added, “While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.”
Gorme gained her success as a singer and nightclub entertainer. In 1953, she was invited to join the cast of Steve Allen’s local New York television show. Not only did she sing solos, but she also sang duets with a rising young singer that she would later call her husband. The program later became NBC’s “Tonight Show” in 1954. Gorme and Lawrence were married in Las Vegas in 1957.
After their marriage,they landed their own summer television show, but it was canceled after the one season because Lawrence was drafted into the Army. Gorme then performed in nightclubs where he was stationed, around Washington D.C. After Lawrence was discharged in 1960, the “Steve and Eydie” show began, and so did their legend.
Gorme went on to have other solo hits including her role on the Grammy-nominated, “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.” Then, in 1964, she scored a Spanish-speaking recording with the Mexican combo Trio Los Panchos called “Amor”.
The New York Times reported, in 2004, after the couple’s performance in Westbury, Long Island: “A prolific 93 albums, 12 Emmys, 2 Grammys and innumerable national tours later, they’re still singing together”. The newspaper added, “At the end of a show that lasted nearly three hours, Ms. Gorme’ sign-off, ‘God bless us all,’ prompted a standing ovation.”
Gorme is survived by Lawrence, her son David and a granddaughter. Her other son with Lawrence, Michael, died due to heart failure in 1986 when he was only 23-years-old. “Services are pending and will be private,” said Bragman.