Legendary singer Eydie Gormé has died, aged 84

Aug 12, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. ET

Legendary singer Eydie Gormé, who was half of one of the most successful pop-singing duos of the 20th century, has passed away.

Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence

The legend that was "Mr. and Mrs. Music" is sadly no more, as Eydie Gormé has died aged 84.

Concert and recording superstar Eydie Gormé enjoyed fame in the 1950s and 1960s as one of the most popular nightclub and television singers, first as a solo act and later as a dynamic duo with her husband, Steve Lawrence.

Eydie Gormé died on Saturday.

Her publicist, Howard Bragman, told People, "Legendary singer and performer Eydie Gorme passed away peacefully today at Sunrise Hospital following a brief illness... She was surrounded by her husband, son and other loved ones at the time of her death."

Gormé was a massive solo success, with two of her biggest hits being "You Need Hands" and "Too Close For Comfort." Her most popular song, which sold millions, was "Blame It on the Bossa Nova" — a tune that sparked a dance craze.

Gormé and Lawrence got their big break on NBC's The Tonight Show, where they originally met and were often paired in musical numbers and comic sketches. They later married in 1958. Thereafter, the couple had their own summer TV show, which was abruptly canceled after one season because Lawrence had been drafted into the U.S. Army. Upon his discharge in 1960, the couple resumed their act and became known as "Steve and Eydie," one of the most successful double acts in show business.

Lawrence went on to star in the Broadway musical What Makes Sammy Run? Gormé appeared at the Copacabana in New York, initially to fill in for another singer. But Gormé stole the show with her superb vocals and was booked for the duration of the show's run before making her Broadway debut the following year.

Gormé had a true talent for languages and was featured on over 40 albums — including several recorded in Spanish. Among her many radio appearances was one on a Spanish-language show, Cita Con Eydie (A Date with Eydie), which was beamed to Latin America by Voice of America.

The duo came from humble beginnings. Eydie Gormé was born Edith Gormezano in the Bronx. She was the daughter of a Turkish-born tailor of Spanish descent. Lawrence was born Sidney Liebowitz. He was a cantor's son.

"A prolific 93 albums, 12 Emmys, 2 Grammys and innumerable national tours later, they're still singing together," the New York Times reported in 2004.

Although Gormé retired in 2009, Lawrence continued to appear as a solo act.

In his own statement about his wife's death, Lawrence said, "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."

Lawrence added, "While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time."

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