Ella Fitzgerald: The Queen of Jazz and The First Lady of Song

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Ella Fitzgerald: The Queen of Jazz and The First Lady of Song by Mind Map: Ella Fitzgerald: The Queen of Jazz and The First Lady of Song

1. She did not conform to the regular ¨diva¨ look. She was uniquely beautiful and lovely.

1.1. Chick Webb, Apollo Theater stint, drummer, and bandleader, was hesitant to promote her because of her looks, but people still adored her. (https://www.npr.org/2007/06/13/10208984/ella-fitzgerald-first-lady-of-song)

1.2. She considered herself more of a tomboy, and often joined in the neighborhood games of baseball in her poor, childhood neighborhood. (http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography)

2. She became one of the biggest stars in her lifetime

2.1. the most popular female jazz singer in the US for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. (http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography)

2.2. she was inducted into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame, and received Kennedy Center Honors for her continuing contributions to the arts. http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography

2.3. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella.) http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography

2.4. She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common - they all loved her. http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography

3. She was open minded with music, and flexible in her singing style

3.1. Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. (http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography)

3.2. She could improvise right next to saxophonists like Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young, then turn around and perform a classic American ballad while infusing it with her natural swing. (https://www.npr.org/2007/06/13/10208984/ella-fitzgerald-first-lady-of-song)

3.3. Instead of painting the town after a long tour, she was known to just go home, read a book, and watch her favorite television soap operas. https://www.npr.org/2007/06/13/10208984/ella-fitzgerald-first-lady-of-song

4. She overcame discrimination

4.1. https://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/ella-fitzgerald-voice

4.2. Ella Fitzgerald (1917 – 1996), like all African Americans in her lifetime, faced prejudice throughout her career. During an event in 1956 she was to headline at the Copacabana, one of the most extravagant clubs in New York City. This was the club’s first time headlining an African American, she was to walk into uncharted territory. (https://ellafitzgeraldblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/overcoming-discrimination/)

5. She had and still has A-lister fans from around the world, and from every generation.

5.1. Of her fans, one of the most prominent was singer, actress, and icon Marilyn Monroe. She was such a big fan of Fitzgerald that she used her connections to help advance Fitzgerald's career and ultimately allow more people the opportunity to witness her performances. -Marilyn Monroe

5.2. "My mom used to play Billie Holiday on Sundays, I found Ella Fitzgerald - who’s my absolute favorite jazz singer - and my father listened to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett."-Lady Gaga

5.3. "Chart music was all I ever knew. So when I listened to the Ettas and the Ellas, it sounds so cheesy, but it was like an awakening."-Adele

6. She had a humble beginning and remained relatable despite her success.

6.1. Her father abandoned her when she was just a baby. Later, during her early teenage years, she lost her mother, then her stepfather, and had to care for her younger sister. http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography

6.2. Ella became depressed and troubled that she her grades dropped dramatically, and she frequently skipped school. After getting into trouble with the police, she was taken into custody and sent to a reform school where she was beaten by caretakers. http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography

6.3. Eventually Ella escaped from the reformatory. The 15-year-old found herself broke and alone during the Great Depression, and strove to endure. http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography

6.3.1. Never one to complain, Ella later reflected on her most difficult years with an appreciation for how they helped her to mature. She used the memories from these times to help gather emotions for performances, and felt she was more grateful for her success because she knew what it was like to struggle in life. http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/about/biography