Ella Fitzgerald was one of the most notable singers of the 20th century, and a significant artist in the emergence of jazz.
A performance at the Apollo Theater’s famed Amateur Night in 1934 set Fitzgerald’s career in motion. Over the next seven decades, she worked with some of the most important artists in the music industry including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra.
She was dubbed “The First Lady of Jazz” for her mainstream popularity and unparalleled vocal talents—even though her less–than–svelte appearance and upbeat singing style was in contrast to the sultry and bluesy female singers of her day. Her unique ability for mimicking instrumental sounds helped popularize the vocal improvisation of “scatting,” which became her signature technique.
Ella recorded over 200 albums and around 2,000 songs in her lifetime, singing the works of some of the most popular composers such as Cole Porter, Gershwin and Irving Berlin.
Ella Fitzgerald died in 1996 at the age of 79, and is remembered as one of the most influential jazz artists of the 20th century.