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About Ella Fitzgerald

∙ Legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald’s career began when she won Amateur Night at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater at age 17.
∙ Fitzgerald made her professional singing debut at the Harlem Opera House in 1935 with Tiny Bradshaw’s Band—a week-long engagement that led to a full-time gig with Chick Webb and His Orchestra.
∙ “A-Tisket a Tasket,” her 1938 breakthrough hit with Chick Webb and His Orchestra, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1986.
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook was the first album ever released by the legendary jazz label Verve Records, founded by her manager as a vehicle for her work.
∙ In 1959, she became the first Black artist to win a Grammy Award, receiving Best Jazz Performance, Individual, honors for Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook.
∙ Her 1964 recording of “Can’t Buy Me Love” was the first cover of a Beatles hit to reach the UK Top 40.
∙ She received the National Medal of Arts in 1987 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.
∙ Adele, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, and Björk have all cited Fitzgerald as a major influence.

HOMETOWN
Newport News, VA
BORN
Apr 25, 1917

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