Ella Fitzgerald

April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996 • American Jazz

Fast Facts

  • Born in Virginia, but moved to New York as a child.
  • Loved to dance and sing as a young child, and tried to imitate the singing of the musicians on the records she heard.
  • Sometimes called the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella.
  • Well-known for her improvisational ability, especially her scat singing.
  • Performed across the country with the Chick Webb Orchestra, but was most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem
  • Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of the nursery rhyme “A Tisket, A Tasket” helped her reach national fame.
  • Appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows, and collaborated with many other musicians including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots.
  • Received fourteen Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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