Thursday, September 06, 2012

Lillian Lopez, Lead Singer of Odyssey, Dies at 76

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,

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,

Bill McEachern

My condolences to the entire family
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).

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).



12 comments:

Anonymous,  November 7, 2012 at 4:15 PM  

god bless you...what a beautiful voice...uplifted me through low times....will always love this group one of my all time greats...always will be....thank you.

lydia hinton December 4, 2012 at 9:42 AM  

I AM PROUD TO HAVE BEEN A FAN OF ODYSSEY..REST IN ETERNAL PEACE LILLIAN LOPEZ

Anonymous,  January 4, 2013 at 5:06 PM  

Just watchin top of pops from 1978 and the wonderful Odyssey were on. Many happy memories of singing and dancing to their songs. God bless and thanks for helping to bring light into my life xxxx
Karen, Lincoln xx

Anonymous,  January 4, 2013 at 5:17 PM  

rest in peace lillian god bless you ur music was timeless x

Anonymous,  January 25, 2013 at 5:36 PM  

A very beatiful woman with an amazing voice I was a DJ on the I.O.W. way back then in 1978 your music made many a person dance and be happy and some sad with your valvet voice and feeling, (If your looking for a way out) bless`ed be to you and all of your family goodnight beautiful lady
DJ G

Anonymous,  February 28, 2013 at 6:35 PM  

rip - beautiful lady with a beautiful voice x

Frederick,  March 3, 2013 at 1:12 AM  

I can`t stop looking at her beautiful face. Rest in peace Lillian. I play my favorite song Native New yorker every day.

Fred,  April 1, 2013 at 5:58 AM  

Reposes en paix , pour l'éternité , et merci pour tout la joie apporté ;)

Anonymous,  April 1, 2013 at 5:19 PM  

R.I.P Loved Odyssey what a great voice will be sadly missed
Mark from Kinmel Bay, North Wales

Anonymous,  May 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM  

RIP Lillian. They'll never be another voice like yours

Segun Bayo,  October 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM  

Whaoh!! Whaoh!! Whaoh"" Where was I? How did I miss the news of the death of this very important lady? I was trawling youtube for music to relax myself when I played "If you're looking for a way out" which always draws tears from my eyes always. Then at the bottom comment, someone mention she has passed away. Oh goodness, more tears in my eyes now. What a voice? What a lady? What a group? I very much appreciated living in the era of her music. THANKS, THANKS, THANK YOU SO MUCH MS LILLIAN. REST IN PERFECT PEACE WHEREVER YOU ARE.

Anonymous,  December 9, 2013 at 1:54 PM  

yes I too missed her death and would like to offer a belated RIP and thank you to the Lord for Lilian and her beautiful voice and her happy smiling face. xx RIP Lilian xx

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