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Joni James was born Giovanna Joan Carmella Babbo on Sept. 22, 1930 in Chicago, IL. In her early years, she studied drama & ballet. After high school she toured Canada with a dance group. After taking a job as a chorus girl, she decided to pursue a singing career. MGM executives saw her in a TV commercial and she was signed by MGM in 1952.

She was the first American singer to record at Abbey Road Studios in England. Her fan base even included Asia and the Philippines. She had 7 top hits, including "Why Don't You Believe in Me?", "Your Cheating Heart," "Almost Always," and "Have You Heard?"

She married composer Tony Acquaviva in 1956. In 1964, she dropped out of the public eye to take care of him and did so until 1986, when Mr. Acquaviva passed away. She began to tour again in the 1990's. She was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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