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Ella Fitzgerald

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Newport News, Virginia Beach VA, United States (1917 – 1996)

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 in Newport News, VA – June 15, 1996), also known as Lady Ella (the First Lady of Song), was one of the most influential jazz singers of the 20th Century, the winner of thirteen Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Art presented by President Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented by President George H. W. Bush.

Gifted with a three-octave vocal range, she was noted for her purity of tone, near faultless phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

She is considered by many to be simply the best singer of the last several generations. There are a few critics who have suggested that she occasionally failed to put the required emotional investment into her interpretations. However, she performed over many decades, including appearances well into her 70’s. She remains one of the most successful, influential and enduringly popular singers of the last century.

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