Singer Marilyn Horne will receive a lifetime achievement award from classical music magazine Gramophone, for a career spanning 45 years.
Marilyn Horne sang in the 1954 movie Carmen Jones
The versatile mezzo-soprano has sang material by composers ranging from Leonard Bernstein to Beethoven on the world's top stages.
"Americans are fairly utilitarian," she said. "I sing everything!"
Horne, 71, was due to officially receive the award at Steinway Hall in Manhattan on Monday.
She made her opera debut as Hata in The Bartered Bride with the Guild Opera Company in 1954.
Horne then found fame by providing the singing voice for Dorothy Dandridge in the film Carmen Jones.
She retired from singing classical music in 1999 and now heads the Marilyn Horne Foundation, a charity encouraging young talent and coaching singers.
Horne said it was a challenge to persuade US audiences to listen to classical music.
"But you have to keep talking to people and say, 'Hey, come on, try it! Try it once at least!'"