As a singer and someone who grew up in a jazz town, I was groomed on that voice. That smooth, silky voice. It was Ella Fitzgerald’s trademark, and the key to her success as a jazz singer.
Her career began at a time when female musicians weren’t taken seriously and many music venues were segregated. Performing constantly led to distant relationships with friends and family, but Fitzgerald never gave up life on the road, because her passion, above everything else, was pleasing her fans. A runaway teen, Fitzgerald lived on the streets of Harlem, and if not for her last-minute decision to sing at an amateur night contest in 1934, the world may never have known the First Lady of Song.