Sunday, March 1, 2009
Ella Fitzgerald (1917 – 1996)
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as "Lady Ella" and the "First Lady of Song", is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century. With a vocal range spanning three octaves, she was noted for her purity of tone, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. She is widely considered to have been one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Over a recording career that lasted 59 years, she was the winner of 14 Grammy Awards, and was awarded the National Medal of Art by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.