13-time award-winning artist, Ella Fitzgerald was a popular female jazz artist who sold over 40 million albums! Her flexible, unique voice stunned the world! She performed at venues all over the world and her listeners included all races, people of many different religions and nationalities.
Ella was born on April 25th, 1917. Growing up, she enjoyed dancing and singing. Many nights, she would take the train to Harlem from Yonkers, New York to witness the many acts that took place at the Apollo Theater.
It was the Apollo Theater in 1934 that pulled Ella’s name in their weekly drawing to allow her the opportunity to compete in Amateur night. Though Ella planned on dancing, she changed her maind when she witnessed the Edwards Sisters perform. She thought her act would not compare so she made the last minute decision to sing. She performed Hoagy Carmichael’s “Judy,” one of her mother’s favorite songs. She stunned the audience and by the end of the song, the audience was pleading for more!
In 1936, Ella made her first recording, “Love and Kisses.” She then recorded a playful version of the nursey rhyme “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” which sold over one million copies! She stayed on top of the pop charts for 17 weeks! At just 21-years-old, Ella Fitzgerald became the talk of the world!
By the time the ’90s hit, Ella Fitzgerald recorded over 200 albums, her final performance was at the Carnegie Hall. On June 15th, 1996, Ella Fitzgerald passed away. She was laid to rest in the “Sanctuary of the Bells” section of the Sunset Mission Mausoleum at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.
“The only thing better than singing is more singing.” – Ella Fitzgerald
Information obtained from the official Ella Fitzgerald website