American soprano BEVERLY SILLS has died of cancer. She was 78.
The Brooklyn-born singing sensation passed away in New York at 9pm local time on Monday (02Jul07), according to her manager Edgar Vincent. It was revealed just last month (Jun07) she was gravely ill with inoperable lung cancer.
Sills resigned her post as chairwoman of the city's Metropolitan Opera two years ago (05), citing health and family reasons.
She was one of America's best-known opera stars in the 1960s and 1970s, acclaimed for performances in Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe, Massenet's Manon and Handel's Giulio Cesare, before going on to manage the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.
Sills also hosted a string of live TV broadcasts. As recently as last season, she conducted backstage interviews for the Metropolitan Opera's high-definition movie theatre performances.
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.