Ella Fitzgerald

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Ella Fitzgerald_table_infobox_0

Ella FitzgeraldElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_0_0
BornElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_1_0 Ella Jane Fitzgerald

(1917-04-25)April 25, 1917 Newport News, Virginia, U.S.Ella Fitzgerald_cell_0_1_1

DiedElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_2_0 June 15, 1996(1996-06-15) (aged 79)

Beverly Hills, California, U.S.Ella Fitzgerald_cell_0_2_1

Spouse(s)Ella Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_3_0 Benny Kornegay

​ ​(m. 1941; annulled 1943)​

Ray Brown ​ ​(m. 1947; div. 1953)​Ella Fitzgerald_cell_0_3_1

ChildrenElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_4_0 Ray Brown Jr.Ella Fitzgerald_cell_0_4_1
GenresElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_5_0 Ella Fitzgerald_cell_0_5_1
Occupation(s)Ella Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_6_0 SingerElla Fitzgerald_cell_0_6_1
InstrumentsElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_7_0 VocalsElla Fitzgerald_cell_0_7_1
Years activeElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_8_0 1934–1994Ella Fitzgerald_cell_0_8_1
LabelsElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_9_0 Ella Fitzgerald_cell_0_9_1
WebsiteElla Fitzgerald_header_cell_0_10_0 Ella Fitzgerald_cell_0_10_1

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_0

She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_1

After a tumultuous adolescence, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_2

Her rendition of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_3

After taking over the band when Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start her solo career. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_4

Her manager was Moe Gale, co-founder of the Savoy, until she turned the rest of her career over to Norman Granz, who founded Verve Records to produce new records by Fitzgerald. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_5

With Verve she recorded some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretations of the Great American Songbook. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_6

While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_7

These partnerships produced some of her best-known songs such as "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "Cheek to Cheek", "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall", and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)". Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_8

In 1993, after a career of nearly 60 years, she gave her last public performance. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_9

Three years later, she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_10

Her accolades included fourteen Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_11

Early life Ella Fitzgerald_section_0

Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_12

She was the daughter of William Fitzgerald and Temperance "Tempie" Henry. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_13

Her parents were unmarried but lived together in the East End section of Newport News for at least two and a half years after she was born. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_14

In the early 1920s, Fitzgerald's mother and her new partner, a Portuguese immigrant named Joseph Da Silva, moved to Yonkers, in Westchester County, New York. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_15

Her half-sister, Frances Da Silva, was born in 1923. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_16

By 1925, Fitzgerald and her family had moved to nearby School Street, a poor Italian area. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_17

She began her formal education at the age of six and was an outstanding student, moving through a variety of schools before attending Benjamin Franklin Junior High School in 1929. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_18

Starting in third grade, Fitzgerald loved dancing and admired Earl Snakehips Tucker. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_19

She performed for her peers on the way to school and at lunchtime. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_20

She and her family were Methodists and were active in the Bethany African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she attended worship services, Bible study, and Sunday school. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_21

The church provided Fitzgerald with her earliest experiences in music. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_22

Fitzgerald listened to jazz recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and The Boswell Sisters. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_23

She loved the Boswell Sisters' lead singer Connee Boswell, later saying, "My mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with it...I tried so hard to sound just like her." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_24

In 1932, when Fitzgerald was fifteen, her mother died from injuries sustained in a car accident. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_25

Her stepfather took care of her until April 1933 when she moved to Harlem to live with her aunt. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_26

This seemingly swift change in her circumstances, reinforced by what Fitzgerald biographer Stuart Nicholson describes as rumors of "ill treatment" by her stepfather, leaves him to speculate that Da Silva might have abused her. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_27

Fitzgerald began skipping school, and her grades suffered. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_28

She worked as a lookout at a bordello and with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_29

She never talked publicly about this time in her life. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_30

When the authorities caught up with her, she was placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale in the Bronx. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_31

When the orphanage proved too crowded, she was moved to the New York Training School for Girls, a state reformatory school in Hudson, New York. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_32

Early career Ella Fitzgerald_section_1

While she seems to have survived during 1933 and 1934 in part from singing on the streets of Harlem, Fitzgerald made her most important debut at age 17 on November 21, 1934, in one of the earliest Amateur Nights at the Apollo Theater. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_33

She had intended to go on stage and dance, but she was intimidated by a local dance duo called the Edwards Sisters and opted to sing instead. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_34

Performing in the style of Connee Boswell, she sang "Judy" and "The Object of My Affection" and won first prize. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_35

She won the chance to perform at the Apollo for a week but, seemingly because of her disheveled appearance, the theater never gave her that part of her prize. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_36

In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_37

She was introduced to drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, who had asked his recently signed singer Charlie Linton to help find him a female singer. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_38

Although Webb was "reluctant to sign her...because she was gawky and unkempt, a 'diamond in the rough,'" he offered her the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_39

Met with approval by both audiences and her fellow musicians, Fitzgerald was asked to join Webb's orchestra and gained acclaim as part of the group's performances at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_40

Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs, including "Love and Kisses" and "(If You Can't Sing It) You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)". Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_41

But it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", a song she co-wrote, that brought her public acclaim. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_42

"A-Tisket, A-Tasket" became a major hit on the radio and was also one of the biggest-selling records of the decade. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_43

Webb died of spinal tuberculosis on June 16, 1939, and his band was renamed Ella and Her Famous Orchestra with Fitzgerald taking on the role of bandleader. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_44

She recorded nearly 150 songs with Webb's orchestra between 1935 and 1942. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_45

In addition to her work with Webb, Fitzgerald performed and recorded with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_46

She had her own side project, too, known as Ella Fitzgerald and Her Savoy Eight. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_47

Decca years Ella Fitzgerald_section_2

In 1942, with increasing dissent and money concerns in Fitzgerald's band, Ella and Her Famous Orchestra, she started to work as lead singer with The Three Keys, and in July her band played their last concert at Earl Theatre in Philadelphia. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_48

While working for Decca Records, she had hits with Bill Kenny & the Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, and the Delta Rhythm Boys. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_49

Producer Norman Granz became her manager in the mid-1940s after she began singing for Jazz at the Philharmonic, a concert series begun by Granz. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_50

With the demise of the swing era and the decline of the great touring big bands, a major change in jazz music occurred. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_51

The advent of bebop led to new developments in Fitzgerald's vocal style, influenced by her work with Dizzy Gillespie's big band. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_52

It was in this period that Fitzgerald started including scat singing as a major part of her performance repertoire. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_53

While singing with Gillespie, Fitzgerald recalled, "I just tried to do [with my voice] what I heard the horns in the band doing." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_54

Her 1945 scat recording of "Flying Home" arranged by Vic Schoen would later be described by The New York Times as "one of the most influential vocal jazz records of the decade....Where other singers, most notably Louis Armstrong, had tried similar improvisation, no one before Miss Fitzgerald employed the technique with such dazzling inventiveness." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_55

Her bebop recording of "Oh, Lady Be Good!" Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_56

(1947) was similarly popular and increased her reputation as one of the leading jazz vocalists. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_57

Verve years Ella Fitzgerald_section_3

Fitzgerald made her first tour of Australia in July 1954 for the Australian-based American promoter Lee Gordon. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_58

This was the first of Gordon's famous "Big Show" promotions and the 'package' tour also included Buddy Rich, Artie Shaw and comedian Jerry Colonna. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_59

Although the tour was a big hit with audiences and set a new box office record for Australia, it was marred by an incident of racial discrimination that caused Fitzgerald to miss the first two concerts in Sydney, and Gordon had to arrange two later free concerts to compensate ticket holders. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_60

Although the four members of Fitzgerald's entourage – Fitzgerald, her pianist John Lewis, her assistant (and cousin) Georgiana Henry, and manager Norman Granz – all had first-class tickets on their scheduled Pan-American Airlines flight from Honolulu to Australia, they were ordered to leave the aircraft after they had already boarded and were refused permission to re-board the aircraft to retrieve their luggage and clothing. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_61

As a result, they were stranded in Honolulu for three days before they could get another flight to Sydney. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_62

Although a contemporary Australian press report quoted an Australian Pan-Am spokesperson who denied that the incident was racially based, Fitzgerald, Henry, Lewis and Granz filed a civil suit for racial discrimination against Pan-Am in December 1954 and in a 1970 television interview Fitzgerald confirmed that they had won the suit and received what she described as a "nice settlement". Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_63

Fitzgerald was still performing at Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) concerts by 1955. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_64

She left Decca, and Granz, now her manager, created Verve Records around her. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_65

She later described the period as strategically crucial, saying, "I had gotten to the point where I was only singing be-bop. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_66

I thought be-bop was 'it', and that all I had to do was go some place and sing bop. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_67

But it finally got to the point where I had no place to sing. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_68

I realized then that there was more to music than bop. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_69

Norman ... felt that I should do other things, so he produced Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book with me. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_70

It was a turning point in my life." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_71

On March 15, 1955, Ella Fitzgerald opened her initial engagement at the Mocambo nightclub in Hollywood, after Marilyn Monroe lobbied the owner for the booking. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_72

The booking was instrumental in Fitzgerald's career. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_73

Bonnie Greer dramatized the incident as the musical drama, Marilyn and Ella, in 2008. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_74

It had previously been widely reported that Fitzgerald was the first black performer to play the Mocambo, following Monroe's intervention, but this is not true. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_75

African-American singers Herb Jeffries, Eartha Kitt, and Joyce Bryant all played the Mocambo in 1952 and 1953, according to stories published at the time in Jet magazine and Billboard. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_76

Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book, released in 1956, was the first of eight Song Book sets Fitzgerald would record for Verve at irregular intervals from 1956 to 1964. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_77

The composers and lyricists spotlighted on each set, taken together, represent the greatest part of the cultural canon known as the Great American Songbook. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_78

Her song selections ranged from standards to rarities and represented an attempt by Fitzgerald to cross over into a non-jazz audience. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_79

The sets are the most well-known items in her discography. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_80

Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book was the only Song Book on which the composer she interpreted played with her. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_81

Duke Ellington and his longtime collaborator Billy Strayhorn both appeared on exactly half the set's 38 tracks and wrote two new pieces of music for the album: "The E and D Blues" and a four-movement musical portrait of Fitzgerald. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_82

The Song Book series ended up becoming the singer's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work, and probably her most significant offering to American culture. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_83

The New York Times wrote in 1996, "These albums were among the first pop records to devote such serious attention to individual songwriters, and they were instrumental in establishing the pop album as a vehicle for serious musical exploration." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_84

Days after Fitzgerald's death, The New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote that in the Song Book series Fitzgerald "performed a cultural transaction as extraordinary as Elvis' contemporaneous integration of white and African American soul. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_85

Here was a black woman popularizing urban songs often written by immigrant Jews to a national audience of predominantly white Christians." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_86

Frank Sinatra, out of respect for Fitzgerald, prohibited Capitol Records from re-releasing his own recordings in separate albums for individual composers in the same way. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_87

Fitzgerald also recorded albums exclusively devoted to the songs of Porter and Gershwin in 1972 and 1983; the albums being, respectively, Ella Loves Cole and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_88

A later collection devoted to a single composer was released during her time with Pablo Records, Ella Abraça Jobim, featuring the songs of Antônio Carlos Jobim. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_89

While recording the Song Books and the occasional studio album, Fitzgerald toured 40 to 45 weeks per year in the United States and internationally, under the tutelage of Norman Granz. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_90

Granz helped solidify her position as one of the leading live jazz performers. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_91

In 1961 Fitzgerald bought a house in the Klampenborg district of Copenhagen, Denmark, after she began a relationship with a Danish man. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_92

Though the relationship ended after a year, Fitzgerald regularly returned to Denmark over the next three years and even considered buying a jazz club there. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_93

The house was sold in 1963, and Fitzgerald permanently returned to the United States. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_94

There are several live albums on Verve that are highly regarded by critics. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_95

At the Opera House shows a typical Jazz at the Philharmonic set from Fitzgerald. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_96

Ella in Rome and Twelve Nights in Hollywood display her vocal jazz canon. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_97

Ella in Berlin is still one of her best-selling albums; it includes a Grammy-winning performance of "Mack the Knife" in which she forgets the lyrics but improvises magnificently to compensate. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_98

Verve Records was sold to MGM in 1963 for $3 million and in 1967 MGM failed to renew Fitzgerald's contract. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_99

Over the next five years she flitted between Atlantic, Capitol and Reprise. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_100

Her material at this time represented a departure from her typical jazz repertoire. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_101

For Capitol she recorded Brighten the Corner, an album of hymns, Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas, an album of traditional Christmas carols, Misty Blue, a country and western-influenced album, and 30 by Ella, a series of six medleys that fulfilled her obligations for the label. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_102

During this period, she had her last US chart single with a cover of Smokey Robinson's "Get Ready", previously a hit for the Temptations, and some months later a top-five hit for Rare Earth. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_103

The surprise success of the 1972 album Jazz at Santa Monica Civic '72 led Granz to found Pablo Records, his first record label since the sale of Verve. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_104

Fitzgerald recorded some 20 albums for the label. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_105

Ella in London recorded live in 1974 with pianist Tommy Flanagan, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Keter Betts and drummer Bobby Durham, was considered by many to be some of her best work. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_106

The following year she again performed with Joe Pass on German television station NDR in Hamburg. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_107

Her years with Pablo Records also documented the decline in her voice. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_108

"She frequently used shorter, stabbing phrases, and her voice was harder, with a wider vibrato", one biographer wrote. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_109

Plagued by health problems, Fitzgerald made her last recording in 1991 and her last public performances in 1993. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_110

Film and television Ella Fitzgerald_section_4

In her most notable screen role, Fitzgerald played the part of singer Maggie Jackson in Jack Webb's 1955 jazz film Pete Kelly's Blues. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_111

The film costarred Janet Leigh and singer Peggy Lee. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_112

Even though she had already worked in the movies (she had sung briefly in the 1942 Abbott and Costello film Ride 'Em Cowboy), she was "delighted" when Norman Granz negotiated the role for her, and, "at the time ... considered her role in the Warner Brothers movie the biggest thing ever to have happened to her." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_113

Amid The New York Times pan of the film when it opened in August 1955, the reviewer wrote, "About five minutes (out of ninety-five) suggest the picture this might have been. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_114

Take the ingenious prologue ... [or] take the fleeting scenes when the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald, allotted a few spoken lines, fills the screen and sound track with her strong mobile features and voice." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_115

After Pete Kelly's Blues, she appeared in sporadic movie cameos, in St. Louis Blues (1958) and Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960). Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_116

She made numerous guest appearances on television shows, singing on The Frank Sinatra Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, and alongside other greats Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Mel Tormé, and many others. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_117

She was also frequently featured on The Ed Sullivan Show. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_118

Perhaps her most unusual and intriguing performance was of the "Three Little Maids" song from Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta The Mikado alongside Joan Sutherland and Dinah Shore on Shore's weekly variety series in 1963. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_119

A performance at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London was filmed and shown on the BBC. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_120

Fitzgerald also made a one-off appearance alongside Sarah Vaughan and Pearl Bailey on a 1979 television special honoring Bailey. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_121

In 1980, she performed a medley of standards in a duet with Karen Carpenter on the Carpenters' television special Music, Music, Music. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_122

Fitzgerald also appeared in TV commercials, her most memorable being an ad for Memorex. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_123

In the commercials, she sang a note that shattered a glass while being recorded on a Memorex cassette tape. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_124

The tape was played back and the recording also broke another glass, asking: "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_125

She also appeared in a number of commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken, singing and scatting to the fast-food chain's longtime slogan, "We do chicken right!" Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_126

Her last commercial campaign was for American Express, in which she was photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_127

Ella Fitzgerald Just One of Those Things is a film about her life including interviews with many famous singers and musicians who worked with her and her son. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_128

It was directed by Leslie Woodhead and produced by Reggie Nadelson. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_129

It was released in the UK in 2019. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_130

Collaborations Ella Fitzgerald_section_5

Illness and death Ella Fitzgerald_section_6

Fitzgerald had suffered from diabetes for several years of her later life, which had led to numerous complications. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_131

In 1985, Fitzgerald was hospitalized briefly for respiratory problems, in 1986 for congestive heart failure, and in 1990 for exhaustion. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_132

In March 1990 she appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England with the Count Basie Orchestra for the launch of Jazz FM, plus a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel at which she performed. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_133

In 1993, she had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee due to the effects of diabetes. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_134

Her eyesight was affected as well. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_135

She died in her home from a stroke on June 15, 1996, at the age of 79. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_136

A few hours after her death, the Playboy Jazz Festival was launched at the Hollywood Bowl. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_137

In tribute, the marquee read: "Ella We Will Miss You." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_138

Her funeral was private, and she was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_139

Personal life Ella Fitzgerald_section_7

Fitzgerald married at least twice, and there is evidence that suggests that she may have married a third time. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_140

Her first marriage was in 1941, to Benny Kornegay, a convicted drug dealer and local dockworker. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_141

The marriage was annulled in 1942. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_142

Her second marriage was in December 1947, to the famous bass player Ray Brown, whom she had met while on tour with Dizzy Gillespie's band a year earlier. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_143

Together they adopted a child born to Fitzgerald's half-sister, Frances, whom they christened Ray Brown Jr. With Fitzgerald and Brown often busy touring and recording, the child was largely raised by his mother's aunt, Virginia. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_144

Fitzgerald and Brown divorced in 1953, bowing to the various career pressures both were experiencing at the time, though they would continue to perform together. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_145

In July 1957, Reuters reported that Fitzgerald had secretly married Thor Einar Larsen, a young Norwegian, in Oslo. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_146

She had even gone as far as furnishing an apartment in Oslo, but the affair was quickly forgotten when Larsen was sentenced to five months' hard labor in Sweden for stealing money from a young woman to whom he had previously been engaged. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_147

Fitzgerald was notoriously shy. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_148

Trumpet player Mario Bauzá, who played behind Fitzgerald in her early years with Chick Webb, remembered that "she didn't hang out much. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_149

When she got into the band, she was dedicated to her music....She was a lonely girl around New York, just kept herself to herself, for the gig." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_150

When, later in her career, the Society of Singers named an award after her, Fitzgerald explained, "I don't want to say the wrong thing, which I always do but I think I do better when I sing." Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_151

From 1949 to 1956, Fitzgerald resided in St. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_152 Albans, New York, an enclave of prosperous African Americans where she counted among her neighbors, Illinois Jacquet, Count Basie, Lena Horne, and other jazz luminaries. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_153

Fitzgerald was a civil rights activist; using her talent to break racial barriers across the nation. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_154

She was awarded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Equal Justice Award and the American Black Achievement Award. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_155

In 1949, Norman Granz recruited Fitzgerald for the Jazz at the Philharmonic tour. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_156

The Jazz at the Philharmonic tour would specifically target segregated venues. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_157

Granz required promoters to ensure that there was no "colored" or "white" seating. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_158

He ensured Fitzgerald was to receive equal pay and accommodations regardless of her sex and race. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_159

If the conditions were not met shows were cancelled. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_160

Bill Reed, author of Hot from Harlem: Twelve African American Entertainers, referred to Fitzgerald as the "Civil Rights Crusader", facing discrimination throughout her career. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_161

In 1954 on her way to one of her concerts in Australia she was unable to board the Pan American flight due to racial discrimination. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_162

Although she faced several obstacles and racial barriers, she was recognized as a "cultural ambassador," receiving the National Medal of Arts in 1987 and America's highest non-military honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_163

In 1993, Fitzgerald established the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation focusing on charitable grants for four major categories: academic opportunities for children, music education, basic care needs for the less fortunate, medical research revolving around diabetes, heart disease, and vision impairment. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_164

Her goals were to give back and provide opportunities for those "at risk" and less fortunate. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_165

In addition, she supported several nonprofit organizations like the American Heart Association, City of Hope, and the Retina Foundation. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_166

Loss of material Ella Fitzgerald_section_8

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Ella Fitzgerald among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_167

Discography and collections Ella Fitzgerald_section_9

Further information: Ella Fitzgerald discography Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_168

The primary collections of Fitzgerald's media and memorabilia reside at and are shared between the Smithsonian Institution and the US Library of Congress Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_169

Awards, citations and honors Ella Fitzgerald_section_10

Further information: List of awards received by Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_170

Fitzgerald won thirteen Grammy Awards, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1967. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_171

In 1958 Fitzgerald was the first African American female to win at the inaugural show. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_172

Other major awards and honors she received during her career were the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medal of Honor Award, National Medal of Art, first Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, named "Ella" in her honor, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement, UCLA Spring Sing, and the UCLA Medal (1987). Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_173

Across town at the University of Southern California, she received the USC "Magnum Opus" Award which hangs in the office of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_174

In 1986 she received an honorary doctorate of Music from Yale University. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_175

In 1990, she received an honorary doctorate of Music from Harvard University. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_176

Tributes and legacy Ella Fitzgerald_section_11

The career history and archival material from Fitzgerald's long career are housed in the Archives Center at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, while her personal music arrangements are at the Library of Congress. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_177

Her extensive cookbook collection was donated to the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, and her extensive collection of published sheet music was donated to UCLA. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_178

Harvard gave her an honorary degree in 1990. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_179

In 1997, Newport News, Virginia created a week-long music festival with Christopher Newport University to honor Fitzgerald in her birth city. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_180

Ann Hampton Callaway, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Patti Austin have all recorded albums in tribute to Fitzgerald. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_181

Callaway's album To Ella with Love (1996) features fourteen jazz standards made popular by Fitzgerald, and the album also features the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_182

Bridgewater's album Dear Ella (1997) featured many musicians that were closely associated with Fitzgerald during her career, including the pianist Lou Levy, the trumpeter Benny Powell, and Fitzgerald's second husband, double bassist Ray Brown. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_183

Bridgewater's following album, Live at Yoshi's, was recorded live on April 25, 1998, what would have been Fitzgerald's 81st birthday. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_184

Austin's album, For Ella (2002) features 11 songs most immediately associated with Fitzgerald, and a twelfth song, "Hearing Ella Sing" is Austin's tribute to Fitzgerald. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_185

The album was nominated for a Grammy. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_186

In 2007, We All Love Ella, was released, a tribute album recorded for the 90th anniversary of Fitzgerald's birth. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_187

It featured artists such as Michael Bublé, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Diana Krall, k.d. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_188 lang, Queen Latifah, Ledisi, Dianne Reeves, Linda Ronstadt, and Lizz Wright, collating songs most readily associated with the "First Lady of Song". Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_189

Folk singer Odetta's album To Ella (1998) is dedicated to Fitzgerald, but features no songs associated with her. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_190

Her accompanist Tommy Flanagan affectionately remembered Fitzgerald on his album Lady be Good ... For Ella (1994). Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_191

"Ella, elle l'a", a tribute to Fitzgerald written by Michel Berger and performed by French singer France Gall, was a hit in Europe in 1987 and 1988. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_192

Fitzgerald is also referred to in the 1976 Stevie Wonder hit "Sir Duke" from his album Songs in the Key of Life, and the song "I Love Being Here With You", written by Peggy Lee and Bill Schluger. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_193

Sinatra's 1986 recording of "Mack the Knife" from his album L.A. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_194 Is My Lady (1984) includes a homage to some of the song's previous performers, including 'Lady Ella' herself. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_195

She is also honored in the song "First Lady" by Canadian artist Nikki Yanofsky. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_196

In 2008, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News named its new 276-seat theater the Ella Fitzgerald Theater. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_197

The theater is located several blocks away from her birthplace on Marshall Avenue. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_198

The Grand Opening performers (October 11 and 12, 2008) were Roberta Flack and Queen Esther Marrow. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_199

In 2012, Rod Stewart performed a "virtual duet" with Ella Fitzgerald on his Christmas album Merry Christmas, Baby, and his television special of the same name. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_200

There is a bronze sculpture of Fitzgerald in Yonkers, the city in which she grew up, created by American artist Vinnie Bagwell. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_201

It is located southeast of the main entrance to the Amtrak/Metro-North Railroad station in front of the city's old trolley barn. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_202

The statue's location is one of 14 tour stops on the African American Heritage Trail of Westchester County. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_203

A bust of Fitzgerald is on the campus of Chapman University in Orange, California. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_204

Ed Dwight created a series of over 70 bronze sculptures at the St. Louis Arch Museum at the request of the National Park Service; the series, "Jazz: An American Art Form", depicts the evolution of jazz and features jazz performers including Fitzgerald. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_205

On January 9, 2007, the United States Postal Service announced that Fitzgerald would be honored with her own postage stamp. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_206

The stamp was released in April 2007 as part of the Postal Service's Black Heritage series. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_207

In April 2013, she was featured in Google Doodle, depicting her performing on stage. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_208

It celebrated what would have been her 96th birthday. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_209

On April 25, 2017, the centenary of her birth, UK's BBC Radio 2 broadcast three programmes as part of an "Ella at 100" celebration: Ella Fitzgerald Night introduced by Jamie Cullum, Remembering Ella introduced by Leo Green and Ella Fitzgerald – the First Lady of Song introduced by Petula Clark. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_210

In 2019, Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things, a documentary by Leslie Woodhead, was launched in the UK. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_211

It featured rare footage, radio broadcasts and interviews with Jamie Cullum, Andre Previn, Johnny Mathis, and other musicians, plus a long interview with Fitzgerald's son, Ray Brown Jr. Ella Fitzgerald_sentence_212


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella Fitzgerald.