1934 to 1993
April 25, 1917 in Virginia
June 15, 1996
Newport News, VA, United States
Born in Newport News, Virginia, Ella Fitzgerald, dubbed the “First Lady of Song” began her career as a swing/pop singer in 1934. Her big break, which was at an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater, gained her the attention of Chick Webb, who allowed her to sing with his orchestra. The artist started recording with them in 1935, where she stayed until 1941. She then embarked on a solo career, and at one point, sang with Dizzy Gillespie, which honed her bop, jazz and scat-filled music that led her to fame. Ella continued singing into the 1980s, when age began to take a toll on her sound.