April 25, 1917: Ella Fitzgerald is Born
On this day in 1917, Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song,” was born in Newport News, Virginia. Fitzgerald dedicated her life to jazz and she won 13 Grammy Awards and sold over 40 million albums throughout her career.
Fitzgerald kicked off her jazz career after meeting musician Chick Webb and joining his band as his singer. She soon starting performing frequently at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. She soon became famous began as people came from all over to see her perform alongside Chick Webb.
She later gained the title as the “Queen of Jazz” due to signature skill in imitating instrumental sounds as she performed.
Learn more about Fitzgerald’s path to success with American Experience’s brief overview and timeline.
Image Caption: Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald by Carl Van Vechten 1940 (Library of Congress).