Very sad news for the many fans of disco and dance music. Lillian Lopez, the founding member and lead singer of Odyssey, died last week. Odyssey is known for their iconic 1977 hit "Native New Yorker."
Lopez died on Tuesday, September 4 after a long fight battle against cancer. Lopez's son Steven Andre posted this to Odyssey’s Tribute Page on Facebook:
"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..."
"Native New Yorker" reached Number Three on the Disco chart and Number Six on the Soul chart in December 1977. The group had modest success here in the U.S. with several later songs such as "Inside Out". Lopez and Odyssey moved to the UK and Europe and enjoyed "much more acclaim [and] several hits between 1977 and 1983. But 'Native New Yorker' became their calling card for the next three decades," notes SoulTracks.
"Native New Yorker" is a fantastic song. The lyrics are so memorable: "You’re no tramp, but you’re no lady ... Talkin’ that street talk, you’re the heart and soul of New York City ..."
An amazing voice. Such a loss. Watch Odyssey perform AFTER THE JUMP ...