Opera singer Charity Tillemann-Dick, who had double lung transplants, dies at 35

The singer's death was announced by her family on Facebook in a post, which read: 'This morning, life's curtain closed on one of its consummate heroines'


                            Opera singer Charity Tillemann-Dick, who had double lung transplants, dies at 35

Popular opera singer Charity "Sunshine" Tillemann-Dick, who gave performances across the world after undergoing double lung transplant surgeries, has died at the age of 35.  Tillemann-Dick whose debut album topped Billboard's traditional classical charts was a venerated soprano.

The singer's death was announced by her family on Facebook in a post which read: "This morning, life's curtain closed on one of its consummate heroines."

"Our beloved Charity passed peacefully with her husband, mother, and siblings at her side and sunshine on her face," the post added. The cause of Tillemann-Dick's death has not yet been released. 

Singer Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick performs onstage during the Lung Transplant Project Gala with special guest Patti LaBelle at Guastavino's on October 2, 2017 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The singer, at the age of 20, was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary hypertension and was reportedly told by her doctors that she should stop singing because of her condition. However, she remained undeterred and continued giving incredible performances across the world. 

She had her first double lung transplant surgery in 2009. However, she later suffered a chronic rejection of the donor organ, which caused her to undergo another double lung transplant in 2012.

Tillemann-Dick was given five years to live after the surgery. While speaking after her performance at Lincoln Center, Washington in 2011, she said: "I knew that death was imminent, but I was able to live this dream. A million and one miracles had paved the path."

Alic Bernard gives Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick flowers after her performance onstage during the Lung Transplant Project Gala with special guest Patti LaBelle at Guastavino's on October 2, 2017 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The singer lived with her husband in Baltimore, Maryland. Tillemann-Dick's family and friends took to social media to share their grief shortly after the news of her death.

Scientist Daniel Kraft wrote: "RIP to my inspiring & incomparable friend. She shared her voice & lessons in life."

While author and historian Dr Louise Raw said: "What a shame: I’d watched in awe as Charity Tillemann-Dick not only survived TWO lung transplants but built a stellar opera career. She has died aged 35. But, my goodness, she made use of those extra years. RIP to a warrior woman."