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5 Things You Should Know About Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman (1945-2019) was a legendary operatic soprano. Her sudden death at the age of 74 on September 30th shocked the musical community around the world, and has inspired people to reflect on her life, work, and legacy. Here are five important things to know about Jessye Norman:

1. She was one of the most decorated American vocalists. Norman's accolades include five GRAMMY awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), and over forty honorary doctorates. In 1984, the French government awarded her the title of Commandeur de l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres, and the National History Museum in Paris named an orchid after her. She was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1997 and she was awarded the Presidential Medal of the Arts by former President Barack Obama in 2009.

2. She was wildly prolific. Her career began in the 1960s when she placed first in the Munich International Music Competition and went on to debut with the Deutsche Oper Berlin the following year.  She perfo…

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