Lillian Lopez, one of the founding members of the dance group Odyssey, passed away on Tuesday from cancer. She was 76.
Her son, Steven Andre, announced her death on the band's Facebook tribute page:
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...Also posting a tribute was former Odyssey singer William "Bill" McEachern:
To Lillian,Odyssey was the brainchild of sisters Lillian and Louise Lopez, although Louise would leave the group before it broke out. Tony Reynolds came on board for their first album, Odyssey, which produced their biggest U.S. hit, Native New Yorker (1977/#21 Pop/#6 R&B/#3 Dance/#5 U.K.) along with the single Weekend Lover (1977/#57 Pop/#37 R&B).
Rest in peace. The work you've done, speaks for you. Thank you for the opportunity to sing with you and Louise. I am grateful for all that we were able to share with the world together.
I hope to sing with you again, when I see you in heaven.
Thank God, our music still lives,
My condolences to the entire family
McEachern replaced Reynolds starting with the second album, 1978's Hollywood Party Tonight, and would stay with them through the rest of their contract with RCA. They never had another Pop or R&B hit in the U.S. but scored well in the U.K. with Use It Up and Wear It Out (1980/#1 U.K.), If You're Lookin' For a Way Out (1980/#8 U.K.), Going Back to My Roots (1981/#4 U.K.) and Inside Out (1982/#3 U.K.).
Lillian continued to tour Europe and the Middle East with Al Jackson and Steven Collazo as Odyssey until 2000 when she married Jackson and retired from the business. She went on to become an author, writing the books Bowling Green (2003) and Eight Short Stories For Children (2011).