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Lady Ella: Honoring The “Queen of Jazz” on Her 100th Birthday

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Ella Fitzgerald’s voice smiled whenever she released a note. No matter the tune, each melody floated with pleasantry, passion and even carried the long standing ideal that its crispness could break a glass.

“The only thing better than singing is more singing,” she once said. And for that reason, her jazz-filled catalogue has been among the greats and admirable.

With her renditions of classic jazz tunes such as “Summertime,” “Blue Skies,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Take the A Train,” and “Let’s Do It (Fall in Love),” to name a very few respectfully, Ms. Ella captured hearts with stories of dreams and love.

Despite racial hardships, Lady Ella embraced her dreams and accomplished much, including winning 13 Grammys, her song “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” was entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame and she received the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts’ Medal of Honor Award. The list goes on but perhaps her forever reigning message regarding this thing called life is simply and profoundly: “Don’t ever give up on what you’re really want to do.”

The “First Lady of Song,” as she was affectionately known, died in June 1996 at the age of 76 from diabetes complications. Though her physical presence is no longer here, her music flows through the fabric of the jazz genre.

In this 1970 interview clip, the beloved Ms. Fitzgerald detailed her 60-year career, forbidden love and if she could break a glass.

Her life and accomplishments will be honored over the next year with “Ella at 100: A Centennial Celebration” featuring domestic and international concerts dedicated to her memory.

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