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Barbara Cook Dies: Tony Award-Winning Broadway Singer Was 89

Image: Barbara Cook Dies: Tony Award-Winning Broadway Singer Was 89

Singer Barbara Cook acknowledges a standing ovation after performing at the Metropolitan Opera Friday, Jan. 20, 2006, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

By    |   Tuesday, 08 Aug 2017 03:45 PM

Barbara Cook, a Tony Award-winning Broadway star who later became a cabaret and concert singer after battling alcoholism, depression and obesity, died Tuesday at age 89 at her home in Manhattan of respiratory failure.

Cook won a Tony award for her performance in the original 1957 Broadway production of “The Music Man,” but by the late 1960s her Broadway career had been hampered by alcoholism. She returned to singing in the 1970s as a concert artist and cabaret singer as she stopped drinking.

Her partnership with Wally Harper as her pianist — he also chose and arranged her material — led her to great success as a concert singer. Cook enjoyed singing the works of Stephen Sondheim among many others, and became known for the emotional depth of her songs, often sung in intimate settings such as cabarets and smaller concert halls, The New York Times reported.

"Long ago Ms. Cook figured out what really matters in singing," Anthony Tommasini wrote in the New York Times after her 85th birthday concert at Carnegie Hall in 2012, "to put lyrics across as if she were confiding in you, to bend melodic phrases to expressive ends, to inflect her sound with heartache, happiness, sass, bitterness, or whatever the moment calls for."

Cook recorded albums for many years and gave concerts all over the U.S. and around the world. She sang for presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton at the White House and was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2011 from President Barack Obama.

Cook is survived by her only son, Adam LeGrant.

Twitter fans remembered Cook’s wonderful singing and shared their condolences.

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Barbara Cook, a Tony Award-winning Broadway star who later became a cabaret and concert singer after battling alcoholism, depression and obesity, died Tuesday at age 89 at her home in Manhattan of respiratory failure.
barbara cook, dies, broadway, singer
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2017-45-08
Tuesday, 08 Aug 2017 03:45 PM
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