Carly Simon mourns sisters, who died of cancer a day apart

As musician Carly Simon mourns the loss of her sisters, who died a day apart last week, the You’re So Vain singer said she couldn’t make it without “celebrating the incredible life she lived to have”.

Opera singer Joanna Simon, 85, died of thyroid cancer on Wednesday and Tony and Grammy award winner Lucy Simon, 82, died of metastatic breast cancer on Thursday.

“I am filled with sadness to speak about the deaths of Joanna and Lucy Simon. Her loss will be long and haunting,” Simon, 77, said in a statement to the Associated Press on Saturday.

“As sad as this day is, it’s impossible to mourn them without celebrating the incredible lives they’ve lived,” she continued. “We were three sisters who not only took turns blazing trails and marking courses for one another, we were each other’s secret parts. The co-keepers of each other’s memories.”

Two women performing with a guitar

Lucy Simon, left, and Carly Simon, who performed together as the Simon Sisters in the 1960s, sing at Shubert Alley on Broadway in New York in 1982.

(Nancy Kaye/Associated Press)

As the son of Simon & Schuster publisher Richard Simon and his wife Andrea, all three sisters have made their way into the music industry. Carly and Lucy formed the Simon Sisters in the 1960s and opened folk clubs for other acts in Greenwich Village, the AP reported. Her recording of “Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod” reached #73 on the Billboard charts in 1964.

Lucy later attended nursing school and married illustrator David Levine, with whom she had two children. The two 1980s children’s albums she produced, In Harmony and In Harmony 2, each won a Grammy Award. She also received a Tony nomination for the score of the Broadway musical The Secret Garden.

Lucy is survived by her husband; daughter Julie Simon; and son James Levine and four grandchildren.

A blond woman in black

Joanna Simon leaves the funeral of her partner Walter Cronkite in New York in 2009.

(William Regan/Associated Press)

Carly Simon, of course, became the pop star behind That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be and Anticipation.

Joanna Simon started her opera career in the 1960s. The mezzo-soprano has performed with the New York City Opera and the Seattle Opera and has recorded with the New York Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

She retired from singing in the mid-1980s and worked as a cultural correspondent for PBS’s “MacNeil Teacher NewsHour” until 1992. She also won an Emmy Award in 1991 for her reporting on bipolar disorder and creativity.

Joanna was married to writer and journalist Gerald Walker in 1976 until the Cruising author’s death in 2004. She was also the partner of journalist Walter Cronkite from 2005 until his death in 2009, Deadline reported.

The sisters’ younger brother, photographer Peter Simon, died in 2018 at the age of 71. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

“Words fail me to describe the feeling of suddenly being the only remaining direct descendant of Richard and Andrea Simon,” said Carly Simon. “They touched everyone they knew, and those of us they left behind will be fortunate and honored to continue carrying their memories.” Carly Simon mourns sisters, who died of cancer a day apart

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