Grammy Winner Steve Lawrence Dies at 88

Renowned singer Steve Lawrence leaves a lasting legacy

by Zain ul Abedin
Grammy Winner Steve Lawrence Dies at 88
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The entertainment industry is in mourning following the death of Steve Lawrence, an iconic figure in American music, at the age of 88. Lawrence, who died at his Los Angeles home due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, leaves behind a legacy that spans more than six decades of musical artistry.

Born Sidney Liebowitz on July 8, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York, Lawrence rose to prominence with his wife, Eydie Gormé, as part of the celebrated duo Steve and Eydie. Known for their captivating vocal harmonies and engaging stage presence, the pair became beloved figures on stage, television, and music concerts.

Lawrence’s contributions to the entertainment world were profound and varied. His son, David Lawrence, reflected on his father’s influence, saying, "My Dad was an inspiration to so many people. To me, he was this charming, handsome, hysterically funny guy who sang a lot.

Sometimes alone, sometimes with his insanely talented wife. I am so lucky to have had him as a father and so proud to be his son. I hope that his contributions to the entertainment industry will be remembered for many years to come”.

A multifaceted performer, Lawrence was not only a Grammy and Emmy winner but also a Tony nominee for his role as Sammy Glick in the 1964 Broadway production of “What Makes Sammy Run”. His television appearances were numerous, including a notable regular guest spot on “The Carol Burnett Show”.

Burnett herself expressed deep affection for Lawrence, saying, “Steve was one of my favorite guests on my variety show, appearing 39 times. He was also my very close friend... so close that I considered him ‘family.’ He will always be in my heart”.

Legacy in Music and Film

Aside from television and stage, Lawrence made a significant impact on the film industry, with roles in “The Blues Brothers” and its sequel, where he played Maury Sline. His musical career, particularly his solo hit “Go Away Little Girl,” which topped the Billboard H-t 100 in 1962, showcased his preference for melodic, lyrically rich music.

He once expressed his admiration for the songwriters of his era, including Irving Berlin and the Gershwins, noting their intelligent and melodic compositions. Steve and Eydie’s love story began in 1953 and was cemented by their marriage in 1957, a partnership that lasted until Gormé died in 2013.

Their son David Lawrence has also made his mark in the music industry, notably composing for Disney’s “High School Musical”. Steve Lawrence is survived by his son David, daughter-in-law Faye, granddaughter Mabel, and brother Bernie.

As the entertainment community reflects on his enduring legacy, singer Dionne Warwick offered her condolences, stating, “Steve now has joined his true love, his wife Eydie, and is resting with comfort in the arms of the Heavenly Father”.

His passing is not just the loss of a great entertainer but also a poignant end to a chapter in the history of American music.