Broadway legend and composing genius Stephen Sondheim has sadly passed away at the age of 91.
The tragic news was announced on Friday (26 November) via his friend and lawyer F Richard Pappas.
In a statement to the New York Times, he revealed that a cause of death was unknown and that Sonheim was not ill before passing.
His death came one day after he celebrated Thanksgiving with his friends in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Since debuting onto the scene over 60 years ago, Sondheim has wowed Broadway enthusiasts with his groundbreaking lyricism and composing.
His earliest successes began in the 1950s when he wrote the lyrics for the hit musicals West Side Story and Gypsy.
In the 60s, he began writing and composing musicals with his first being A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Sondheim continued to captivate audiences in the 70s and 80s with his hit shows including Company, Sweeny Todd, Merrily We Roll Along and Into the Woods.
Since the news of his death, many of his industry peers have paid their respects with touching tributes.
Music legend Barbara Streisand took to Twitter with a heartfelt photo and caption, stating: “Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics! May he Rest In Peace.”
The creator of Phantom of the Opera Andrew Lloyd Webber called Sondheim an “inspiration not just to two but to three generations” and said his contributions would “never be equalled.”
Uzo Aduba tweeted: “Stephen Sondheim was the best there ever was. I don’t know when we will ever have another of his caliber, of his breadth and scope. Just the greatest, a legend, a true titan. Rest In Peace.”
The official Twitter account for The Tony Awards also uploaded a tribute and echoed similar sentiments to Sondheim’s many admirers.
“He left us with so many words, but none enough for this post. Goodbye, old pal. Thank you, Stephen Sondheim, for so much brilliance in the theatre and sharing your music with us all,” they wrote.
During his incredible lifetime, Sondheim achieved numerous feats within the industry.
He won an Academy Award, six Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for drama, five Olivier Awards, eight Grammy Awards and the Tony Award for lifetime achievement.
Alongside his career achievements, Sondheim also had a loving marriage with actor Jeff Romley. They recently got married in 2017 after over ten years of dating.
May the Broadway legend rest in peace.
Read all of the touching tributes below.
Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics! May he Rest In Peace🥲🎵 🎶🎵 pic.twitter.com/vshNSdkvpQ
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) November 26, 2021
Stephen Sondheim was the best there ever was. I don’t know when we will ever have another of his caliber, of his breadth and scope. Just the greatest, a legend, a true titan. Rest In Peace. ❤️
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) November 26, 2021
Goodbye dear sir. We will spend our lives trying to make you proud. #stephensondheim
— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) November 26, 2021
Perhaps not since April 23rd of 1616 has theater lost such a revolutionary voice. Thank you Mr. Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story. RIP. 🙏 https://t.co/jHX7ob9JWv
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 26, 2021
He wrote me a wonderful permission letter to use “Old Friends” in American Gods. I avoided meeting him (failed only once) and refused dinner because I didn’t have many heroes. Now I’ve got one less. Thank you Stephen Sondheim so much. pic.twitter.com/soRo4G2ZFU
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 26, 2021
He left us with so many words, but none enough for this post. Goodbye, old pal. Thank you, Stephen Sondheim, for so much brilliance in the theatre and sharing your music with us all. pic.twitter.com/Qe55GcDQeS
— The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) November 27, 2021
Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest. pic.twitter.com/4KlnJJJipq
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 26, 2021
A peerless composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim stirred our souls, broadened our imaginations, and reminded us that no one is alone.
He changed the theatre—and our culture—with his craft, his humor, and his heart. Everybody rise! pic.twitter.com/iWo3xcVh8g
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 27, 2021
The world was just an address
A place for me to live in
No better than alright
But here you are
And what was just a world… is a star
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 27, 2021
Very sad to hear of the passing of the great Stephen Sondheim. I was fortunate to meet him and chat about songwriting. He was a witty intelligent man. ‘Send in the Clowns’ is one of my favourite songs. So well crafted and beautiful with it. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/V21XAI9zcq
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) November 27, 2021
This album. On repeat. All day long. The legendary @BarbraStreisand singing the music of the legendary #StephenSondheim. And me singing with them, just like I did everyday after school when I was 8-years-old and that album came out. RIP 🙏🏾❤️ pic.twitter.com/QAuyAOikfN
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) November 27, 2021