On This Day

April 25, 1917





The First Lady of Song makes her “debut”: Ella Fitzgerald

On This Day

Ella Fitzgerald

  • Born 1917, just as the U.S. entered WWI.
  • Mother died when she was 15.
  • Ran away from reform school & danced on Harlem streets during Great Depression to make $$.
  • At 17, she won amateur night at the famed Apollo Theater & quickly joined a band.
  • Won 13 Grammy awards & sold over 40 million albums
On This Day

Fitzgerald could imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She initially wanted to be a dancer, but got stage fright and decided to sing instead. Let's just say everything worked out the way it should as she famously said: "If I was dancin', I'd have been starving a long time ago."

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