Eydie Gorme, a popular singer as a soloist and as part of a team with her husband, Steve Lawrence, died Saturday at a Las Vegas hospital after a brief illness, her publicist, Howard Bragman, said.
Gormé was born as Edith Garmezano in The Bronx, New York, in 1928, the daughter of Fortuna and Nessim Garmezano. Her father was a tailor. She is a cousin of singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka. Her parents were Sephardic Jewish immigrants, her father from Sicily and her mother from Turkey. Gormé grew up speaking English and Spanish.
In 1964, when she and her husband were at the height of their career, Columbia Records president Goddard Lieberson encouraged her to record in Spanish, too. The result was “Amor,” which became a hit in Latin America.
Gormé had several hit singles, the biggest of which was her 1963 release, “Blame It on the Bossa Nova.” It sold more than one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. She won a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in 1967, for her version of “If He Walked Into My Life”, from Mame.
Lawrence and the couple’s son David were by Gorme’s side when she died, according to Bragman.
“Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years,” Lawrence said in a statement. “I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.”