Top Ten Videos to watch

A Man Operating A Tv Camera
Maurice White
'News One Now' With Roland Martin Taping
Bill Cosby
Activists In Los Angeles Gather To Burn Likenesses Of The Confederate Flag
Flint Firebirds V Windsor Spitfires
CBC Message To America: Rep. Conyers Addresses The Damage Inflicted On Our Communities By Poverty, Mass Incarceration And Lack Of Economic Development
Iowa Caucus Ted Cruz
NewsOne Now NAACP Image Awards Preview
Student sitting at a desk in a classroom
Slavery Stock image
The 16th Annual Wall Street Project Gala Fundraising Reception
Ava DuVernay
Roland Martin Blasts Stacey Dash For Comments About BET, Black Networks
President Obama Delivers State Of The Union Address At U.S. Capitol
Ava DuVernay
2016 North American International Auto Show
Democratic National Committee Presidential Primary Debate
88th Oscars Nominations Announcement
Democratic debate
Dream Speech
GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Charleston
US President Barack Obama speaks on the
2011 Winter TCA Tour - Day 5
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18, 2015: Two wooden stand-in Oscar statuettes are ready to be taken on
Woman Holding Dollars - Isolated
President Barack Obama Delivers His State Of The Union Address
Leave a comment

Ella Fitzgerald Birthday

Jazz queen Ella Fitzgerald (pictured) is firmly positioned as one of the most-heralded jazz vocalists to have ever picked up a microphone.

SEE ALSO: Ku Klux Klan Holds 1st National Meeting On This Day In 1867

With a three-octave vocal range, booming histrionics and the uncanny ability to improvise with her signature scats, Ms. Fitzgerald towers over her contemporaries and remains an inspiration to other singers. As we celebrate the life of Ms. Fitzgerald on this day of her birth, NewsOne takes a look back at the life 59-year career of the late Grammy Award-winning pioneer.

LIKE NewsOne On Facebook To Stay Up On Black News Worldwide!

Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia to parents William and Temperance. After her parents dissolved their common-law marriage, Ella’s mother moved to Yonkers, New York with a boyfriend. As a young girl, Ella had dancing aspirations but enjoyed listening to Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and others. It was the Boswell Sisters, however, she found to be most influential early on in her career. But soon after, tragedy struck and Ella began down a sordid life path.

When her mother passed in 1932, Ella began running numbers, working at a bordello and pursuing other miscellaneous acts. She would become an orphan of the state and eventually ended up homeless for a spell. In 1934, at the age of 17, Ella would debut her vocal talents at the famed Apollo Theater of Harlem. She was going to show off her dancing abilities, but opted instead to sing one of her favorite Boswell Sisters songs and captured the winning prize.

In 1935, Ella caught a break singing with bandleader and drummer Chuck Webb, opening for him and joining his orchestra. When Webb passed in 1939, Ella scored a hit a year prior with the song “A Tisket, A-Tasket,” a song she co-wrote. She was named head of the band, but the group abruptly broke up in 1942, which launched her solo career. She eventually found her way alongside trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and invented her famous “scat-singing” style. She fashioned the vocal technique much in the way Dizzy would go off into improvisational horn riffs.

Fitzgerald went mainstream in the 50s, scoring success with a series of eight “songbooks” that she recorded on famous jazz label, Verve. The albums were a critical and commercial boon for Fitzgerald, cementing her in the annals of Jazz history. This move led the way to several more albums under Verve until she moved on to various record labels over the course of her career.

She would amass 13 Grammy Awards, and received a Lifetime Achievement award in 1967.

Ms. Fitzgerald passed away in June of 1996, leaving behind a rich legacy of recordings and influence over the Jazz landscape. Diabetes would rob the great singer of her life, but a series of her works are enshrined by the Smithsonian’s National Museum Of American History, Library of Congress, Harvard University and UCLA.

Happy Birthday to the Queen, Ella Fitzgerald!

SEE ALSO: ‘High Priestess Of Soul’ Nina Simone Died On This Day In 2003

Also On News One: