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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).


Anonymous said…
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 said…
Anonymous said…
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 said…
rest in peace lillian god bless you ur music was timeless x
Anonymous said…
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
Anonymous said…
rip - beautiful lady with a beautiful voice x
Frederick said…
I can`t stop looking at her beautiful face. Rest in peace Lillian. I play my favorite song Native New yorker every day.
Fred said…
Reposes en paix , pour l'éternité , et merci pour tout la joie apporté ;)
Anonymous said…
R.I.P Loved Odyssey what a great voice will be sadly missed
Mark from Kinmel Bay, North Wales
Anonymous said…
RIP Lillian. They'll never be another voice like yours
Segun Bayo said…
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 said…
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
Pat Booker said…
I also missed the news of Lillian's passing. So very, very sad. I loved Odyssey and was always reduced to tears when listening to "If you're looking for a way out" her voice was just pure honey. Sleep well, Lillian and thank you so much your music, lyrics and talent.
Anonymous said…
She was Magical...I appreciated her love for music. Her voice was one of a kind. Such a beautiful women. You will be missed sweetie.
Lillian Lopez was one of the most beautiful wpmen to ever grace this earth. Thank you God for your lovely creation! I can't stop watching her videos. What a fantastically soothing and mellpw voice. Thank for technology and the ability to listen to her gor as long as I live. My name is Arnett Heathington
Anonymous said…
Such a amazing voice i would have to have known you,but i was just a kid.
R.i.p if your looking for a way out wonderful song. X
Anonymous said…
MARVELOUS SINGER! Awesome woman. Live sing in videos for ever!
Anonymous said…
I still love Native New Yorker, so sorry for your loss.
Unknown said…
sitting here alone playing your music takes me back to happier times and places. Had the Pleasure of meeting you. Such a LADY...... THANK YOU ..... FOR THE MEMORIES THE MUSIC MOST IMPORTANTLY..... YOU X X X R.I.P
Unknown said…
Anonymous said…
Beautiful lady with a fantastic voice. I also had the honour of meeting her along with Louise, Billy, Steven and the rest of the band and spending 5 fantastic days with them. Great loss. R.I.P lovely lady.
Unknown said…
Beautiful lady and voice. I love listening to her music.
Welshboy 1963 said…
It Was such a shock to learn the Passing Of such a beautiful singing sensation I am still a big Fan of odyssey Rest In Peace Lilian My Thoughts go out to Louise Steven and Families
Steve Gould Crosskeys UK
Anonymous said…
What a bunch of fake talking trash.
Anonymous said…
Sure she was wonderful, there's no denying that. But all you fake UK gutter trash,
Be honest, you are only adding a comment because you have no identity. The people in the Uk cannot decide who or what they are so they take on the identity of other nations. What a country of poor losers.
Mike Dunn said…
This UK gutter trash, thinks Lilian and Odyssey captured the soul of a New Work city girl perfectly."your no tramp but your no lady"
Lilian's voice and expressions on video are priceless.
I play her every day.
Mike Dunn
Unknown said…
She was a beautiful soul, with a great heart and spirit, who connected with people all over the World. I remember my sister, in the 70s, dancing and singing along with her, hairbrush in hand, to Native New Yorker.

Years later I was thrilled to see Odyssey live at Morecambe, on the seafront, and Lilian was superb;Connecting to people, singing her heart out, smiling and touching hands with those in the crows, who loved her, and your group.

Every Sunday, at least three stations I flick through here in Lancashire, can be heard several songs of Odyssey:Looking for a Way out, gets played a lot, and always moves me;He voice tells the story for Millions.

She will contine to be loved every time someone new hears her voice, sees her smiling face, such as on Top of the Pops 1982, etc, re-runs and on YouTube or your website videos, etc.

She is immortal, up there, where she belongs, amonst other stars.

Rest in peace Lilian.

Paul Davies
Unknown said…
I was devastated to hear of her passing. I have many happy memories of Odyssey, in the clubs in the 70s and 80s, or driving in my car, listening to her wonderful, soulful voice.

My sister dancing with a hairbrush, singing along to Native New Yorker at home in the 70s.

Years later, I was lucky to see Odyssey live on Morecambe front and she connected with the audience, who loved Lilian. She touched their hands and sang from the heart.

She moved Millions of people all over the World and connected with them, in a way that no other soul singer ever has;She spoke for millions who suffered in silence.

I am coming to see Odyssey at Preston soon and will pay silent tribute to her as I listen to your beautiful music, keeping the spirit alive, of Odyssey.

May she rest in peace. Paul and Elaine Davies
K Lambert said…
This is the first I've heard of this.
I have the pleasure of seeing Lillian and Al live in the UK around 2001 and to say she sounded great was an understatement. Full of vitality, soul and bigger than life in personality.
With so many unique and talented soul performers leaving this earth ,I can only say heaven must be boogeying away up there.
R.I.P to another unique angel.
Also to remember Donna Summer,Maurice White,George Michael,Jermaine Stewart,Prince,Whitney Houston and many others all who have left their legacy well and truly to those devoted to TRUE MUSIC,SOUL and dance
Unknown said…
I can understand why that twat elects to be "anonymous" as, unlike the many, he/she doesn't appear to have the courage of his/her convictions?!?
My father (the late, great William Francis (Bill) Hamilton) also passed away in Basingstoke that year - so sad to discover the wonderfully talented Lillian was within touching distance then.
Frankly, I cannot comprehend how anybody, hearing "If you're looking for a way out" isn't elevated to a magical place for the duration of this beautiful outpouring of heart felt passion??
Almost the "Forest Gump" of music, I've been around from Jimi Hendrix's farewell at IOW 1970, Rainbow's incredible performance at the Edinburgh Playhouse 1976 through to the Grateful Dead's checking out gig in San Fran, so I thank you Lillian for bringing so much pleasure to those who appreciate your unique qualities.
Lord Hamilton of Glencoe
Scotty said…
Loved this song when I was a amazing natural voice from a gorgeous, classy woman. You are mesmerized and can fall in love watching her. A true classic which will live forever, even if you are not a native!!! God bless her, this group, her family.
Sean Bassingale said…
A beautiful and accomplished lady is missed now, seven years later. She and her music were wonderful and a joy to sit back, close your eyes and just listen.
Patrick said…
Anonymous said…
Nov 2020 and still enjoy this song. RIP lillian your music will forever live for generations to come.
Dave Cook said…
Wow. The end of an ear. What a beautiful face, spirit an soul. Missing my friend. My Native New Yorker. Rest In Heaven.

Dave Cook
Capitol Records