Singer Anita Darian has died, aged 87.

Darian passed away on 1 February (15) at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York following complications from surgery, a longtime friend has confirmed.

Darian was a soprano who performed with the New York City Opera and served as a featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic.

She also took her talents to the stage, including a role as Lady Thiang at the New York City Center's 1960 production of The King and I, alongside Broadway veteran Barbara Cook, who played the lead role of Anna.

Darian teamed up with Cook again in 1962 for a new studio cast recording of the Show Boat soundtrack.

A lot of her work went uncredited, including her background vocals for the Tokens’ 1961 hit The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and R&B duo Mickey & Sylvia's 1957 tune Love Is Strange.