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Beverly Sills, 1969

Brooklyn-born Beverly Sills, nicknamed ‘Bubbles,’ was a lyric coloratura soprano who became America’s most popular opera star. She was an all-American success story; her parents were humble Jewish immigrants and she trained entirely within the United States. Sills gained attention in talent shows, and made her professional debut in 1945 in a touring Gilbert and Sullivan company. Jack Robinson photographed Sills on April 25, 1969 for a Vogue feature. Two years later, she would land on the cover of Time magazine with under the headline, “America’s Queen of Opera”. Sills would often appear on television and on talk shows. Down-to-earth and approachable, she helped dispel the traditional image of the temperamental opera diva. After retirement, Sills became the Director of the New York City Opera and later, the Chairman of Lincoln Center.