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Ella Fitzgerald Centennial

Ella Fitzgerald Centennial

Known as the "First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was born 100 years ago on April 25 in Newport News, Virginia. Fitzgerald survived a rough childhood and loved jazz from an early age. After a performance at the famed Apollo theatre in New York, Fitzgerald was discovered by bandleader Chick Webb in 1935. In the '50s and '60s, Fitzgerald gained acclaim for her recordings of the songs of the Great American Songbook, featuring the music of songwriters like Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and the Gershwins. The winner of thirteen Grammy Awards, Ella Fitzgerald was also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Kennedy Center Honor, and an honorary doctorate from Harvard University. She died in 1996. In addition to a number of music CDs, the library also carries the music of Ella Fitzgerald in the hoopa digital music collection.