NEW YORK — Opera singer Joanna Simon and singer-composer Lucy Simon, both sisters of pop superstar Carly Simon, died one day apart this week, family members say.
Lucy's daughter Julie Simon said Joanna died at 85 from thyroid cancer Wednesday, just a day before Lucy. Their brother Peter, a photographer, died in 2018 at 71. All three had cancer.
“In the last 2 days, I’ve been by the side of both my mother and my aunt, Joanna, and watched them pass into the next world. I can’t truly comprehend this,” Julie wrote on Facebook.
Joanna, a glamorous mezzo-soprano, rose to fame in the opera world and as a concert performer in the 1960s. She was a frequent guest on TV talk shows. After her retirement from singing, she became an arts correspondent for PBS’s “MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour,” where she won an Emmy for a report on mental illness and creativity.
Lucy, a composer who received a Tony nomination in 1991 for her work on the long-running Broadway musical “The Secret Garden,” died in her Piedmont, New York home, a family spokesperson said. The 82-year-old had breast cancer.
Carly and Lucy once performed as the Simon Sisters, opening for other acts in Greenwich Village folk clubs. Their recording of “Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod” hit No. 73 on the Billboard charts in 1964.
While Carly Simon would find huge success with such hits as “Anticipation,” “Haven’t Got Time for the Pain” and “You’re So Vain,” Lucy went to nursing school.
After marrying and having children, Lucy Simon recorded two solo albums, “Lucy Simon” (1975) and “Stolen Time” (1977), for RCA. Lucy and her husband produced two Grammy-winning children’s albums, “In Harmony” (1981) and “In Harmony 2" (1983).
Joanna, Lucy, Carly and Peter were born to publishing giant Richard Simon and his wife, Andrea. Carly Simon said she had "no words" to describe the feeling of being the couple's only living child.
“I am filled with sorrow to speak about the passing of Joanna and Lucy Simon," she said in a statement Saturday. "Their loss will be long and haunting. As sad as this day is, it’s impossible to mourn them without celebrating their incredible lives that they lived."
She added: “We were three sisters who not only took turns blazing trails and marking courses for one another. We were each other's secret shares. The co-keepers of each other’s memories."
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Carly Simon is set to be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month.