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Phyllis McGuire, the last member of the McGuire Sisters, dies at 89

Phyllis McGuire – the lead singer and last remaining member of the popular trio of the McGuire Sisters – has died at the age of 89.

A native of Middletown, Ohio, died on Tuesday in her luxury home in Las Vegas, although the cause of death was not mentioned. Reported by the Las Vegas Sun.

The singer got her first big break in 1952, when Phyllis and older sisters Christine and Dorothy McGuire were signed by Coral Records, Variety mentioned. In the same year, they won the first prize in the “Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts” competition.

Then, the talented trio took the musical field by storm, toured the country and made frequent appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and other variety shows, I mentioned a wrap. The McGuire sisters would go on to perform for five presidents and even Queen Elizabeth II during their illustrious careers.

The band is best known for their singles, namely their 1954 pop cover “Sincerely” by Moonglows and their 1955 performance of “Sugartime”. Both topped the US charts on Billboard and sold over a million copies, as did their 1956 song “Picnic”.

Kristen McGuire, Phyllis McGuire and Dorothy McGuire circa 1997
Kristen McGuire, Phyllis McGuire and Dorothy McGuire circa 1997
Getty Images

Unfortunately, the wholesome singers – known for their perfectly elaborate hairstyles and synchronized dance moves – had their image stained somewhat in the 1960s after reports surfaced that Phyllis was engaging with Chicago gangster Sam Giancana. The vocalist claimed that their relationship was just platonic, though 1995 movie “Sugartime” He went a different path.

In 1965, Phyllis testified to a grand jury that she knew Giancana is a criminal but was not aware of his specific activities.

Phyllis McGuire circa 1963
Phyllis McGuire circa 1963
Scientific album photo

The group took a temporary hiatus in 1968, as Phyllis embarked on a solo career. They reunited again in 1985, when they sang nearly two more decades, culminating in their final widespread appearance in PBS’s 2004 “Magic Moments: The Best Pop Music of the 1950s,” when Phyllis was in her seventies.

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The McGuire Sisters was inducted into the National Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1994.

Dorothy died in 2012 at the age of 84, and Christine died in 2018 at the age of 92.

Phyllis told Vanity Fair in 1989, “I’m not afraid to live, nor am I afraid to die. You only live once, and I will live it to the fullest, until I go away. I will continue singing as long as someone wants me.”

Earl Warner

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