Ella Fitzgerald - L1
Ella Fitzgerald was an African-American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. Her music is synonymous with the tones and music of Harlem. Fitzgerald got her start towards fame when she debuts at age 17 on November 21, 1934, in one of the earliest Amateur Nights at the Apollo Theater. She had intended to go on stage and dance, but opted to sing instead, winning first prize- the rest, as they say, is history!

In early 1935, she was introduced to the drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, and Fitzgerald was asked to join Webb's orchestra and gained acclaim as part of the group's performances at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. When Webb died four years later, his band was renamed Ella and Her Famous Orchestra and Fitzgerald took on the role of bandleader. She has nearly 150 songs to her record that she recorded with Webb's orchestra between 1935 and 1942.

In 1958 Fitzgerald was the first African American female to win at the inaugural show of the Grammys and won thirteen Grammy Awards in total in her lifetime. Ella received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1967. Ella Fitzgerald died on June 15, 1996, in Beverly Hills, CA.

Carolyn Johnson
Assistant teacher