American music legend Stephen Sondheim dies at 91

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Washington (AFP) – Stephen Sondheim, the legend of American musical comedy and author of the lyrics for “The West Side Story” (Love Without Barriers), died Friday at the age of 91, his attorney told the New York Times.

Attorney Richard Pappas said Sondem died suddenly in the morning at his residence in Roxbury, in northeastern Connecticut, after celebrating Thanksgiving with friends the day before.

Born on March 22, 1930 in New York City, he has been involved in musical theater from an early age.

He began playing the piano at the age of seven and was a family friend of Oscar Hammerstein II, a member of the famous musical theater-writing duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, who wrote plays such as “Oklahoma!” and “The Sound of Music” (The Rebel Apprentice).

During his long career, Sondheim has won eight Grammy Awards, eight Tony Awards – including a Lifetime Theater Special – and an Academy Award. It was nominated for another Grammy and Tony Award, as well as two Golden Globe Awards.

In 2015, then-US President Barack Obama awarded Sondheim the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work.

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