Carly Simon mourns sisters Joanna and Lucy, who died of cancer a day apart

A woman wearing black stands in between two other women, with her arm around one of them
A June 1994 photo of musician Carly Simon and sisters Lucy Simon, left, and Joanna Simon at the National Academy of Popular Music’s 25th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York.
(Ron Galella / Getty Images)

While musician Carly Simon mourns the loss of her sisters, who died a day apart last week, the “You’re So Vain” singer also said she can’t do it without “celebrating the incredible lives that they lived.”

Opera singer Joanna Simon, 85, died of thyroid cancer on Wednesday, and the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Lucy Simon, 82, died of metastatic breast cancer on Thursday.

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“I am filled with sorrow to speak about the passing of Joanna and Lucy Simon. Their loss will be long and haunting,” Simon, 77, said Saturday in a statement to the Associated Press.


“As sad as this day is, it’s impossible to mourn them without celebrating their incredible lives that they lived,” she continued. “We were three sisters who not only took turns blazing trails and marking courses for one another, we were each other’s secret shares. The co-keepers of each other’s memories.”

Two women performing with a guitar
Lucy Simon, left, and Carly Simon, who performed together in the 1960s as the Simon Sisters, sing in 1982 along Broadway’s Shubert Alley in New York.
(Nancy Kaye / Associated Press)

Born to Simon & Schuster publisher Richard Simon and his wife Andrea, all three sisters forged paths in the music industry. Carly and Lucy formed the Simon Sisters in the 1960s and opened for other acts in Greenwich Village folk clubs, AP reported. Their recording of “Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod” hit No. 73 on the Billboard charts in 1964.

Lucy later attended nursing school and married illustrator David Levine, with whom she had two children. The two 1980s children’s albums that she produced, “In Harmony” and “In Harmony 2,” each won a Grammy Award. She also earned a Tony nomination for the score of the Broadway musical “The Secret Garden.”

Lucy is survived by her husband; daughter, Julie Simon; and son, James Levine, as well as four grandchildren.

A blond woman wearing black
Joanna Simon leaves the funeral of her companion, Walter Cronkite, in 2009 in New York.
(William Regan / Associated Press)

Carly Simon, of course, became the pop star behind “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” and “Anticipation.”

Joanna Simon launched her opera career in the 1960s. The mezzo-soprano performed with New York City Opera and Seattle Opera and recorded with New York Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

She stepped back from singing in the mid-1980s and worked as an arts correspondent for PBS’ “MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour” until 1992. She also won an Emmy Award in 1991 for her report on bipolar disorder and creativity.

Joanna was married to novelist and journalist Gerald Walker in 1976 until the “Cruising” author died in 2004. She was also the companion to journalist Walter Cronkite from 2005 until he died in 2009, Deadline reported.


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The sisters’ younger brother, photographer Peter Simon, died in 2018 at 71. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

“I have no words to explain the feeling of suddenly being the only remaining direct offspring of Richard and Andrea Simon,” Carly Simon said. “They touched everyone they knew and those of us they’ve left behind will be lucky and honored to carry their memories forward.”