The “First Lady of Song” Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums.
Ella won the Amateur Night competition at the famed Apollo Theatre in 1934, which led to her being hired by drummer and bandleader Chick Webb. She took over the bandleader’s duties for a while after Webb died. Her big hit came in 1938 with her recording of “A Tisket A Tasket.”
An interesting story about Marilyn Monroe and Ella can be found at Groovnotes.org.
“A lot of singers think all they have to do is exercise their tonsils to get ahead. They refuse to look for new ideas and new outlets, so they fall by the wayside… I’m going to try to find out the new ideas before the others do.” — Ella Fitzgerald