Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.
A quarter century after her death, the timeless legacy of Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song," endures. She triumphed over cultural roadblocks and personal struggles, and paved the way for other Black performers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald was born in racially segregated Virginia in 1917 and had a tumultuous youth. Then, after an amateur audition at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre in 1934, she found a true home on the stage. Fitzgerald said, "I felt the acceptance and love from my audience. I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life." She went on to build a successful solo career, while also teaming up with greats like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Count Basie. Her passion for music, her beautiful and unique jazz singing style, and her ability to connect with the audience led her to win 13 Grammys, including the first awarded to a Black woman. Her wise words and illustrious career remind us of the power of doing what we love.