Ella Fitzgerald - May 16th

Ella Fitzgerald --- the queen of jazz and scatting, Lady Ella's career spanned 59-years during which she sold 40 million copies of her 70-plus albums, won 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Born in 1917, in Virginia, Ella was the product of a common-law marriage. She experienced a troubled childhood that began with her parents separating just a month after her birth. With her mother, Fitzgerald moved to Yonkers, New York. When Ella was 15, her mother was killed in a car crash. She bounced from aunt to aunt and eventually landed in a reformatory - The New York State Training School for Girls at Hudson, N.Y. She was said to have hated the place, and reports were that she had been held in the basement of one of the cottages and all but tortured. The street-savvy, number-running, brothel lookout girl took it to the Apollo and a star was born.

Ella Fitzgerald

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