1940 to 1990
July 8, 1914
March 8, 1993
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Billy Eckstine (8 July 1914 - 8 March 1993), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA as William Clarence Eckstein. He changed the spelling to Eckstine after a club owner said the original spelling was "too Jewish". Eckstine was an American jazz singer and bandleader who also played trumpet, valve trombone, and guitar. He also performed briefly as Billy X. Stine. His nickname was Mr. B. Although best known as a singer, his openness to new music made him a strong influence on modern jazz, particularly bebop, as he gave employment to many of the musicians who founded the style.