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Singer Lena Horne in her dressing room in 1941. The glamorous Horne would go ~ above to be “one that the legendary divas of famous music,” jazz doubter Don Heckman composed in The times in 1997, through a voice that practically caressed “with its heat timbre and seductive drawl.” (Associated Press)
Lena Horne appeared in the all-black MGM musical “Stormy Weather” alongside bill “Bojangles” Robinson in 1943. (20th Century Fox)
Singer Lena Horne photographed in the 1940s. Refusing come play maids or other stereotypical components then available to black color actors, Horne had actually a nonspeaking function as a singer in her very first MGM movie, “Panama Hattie,” a 1942 comedy. (Associated Press)
Lena Horne, displayed in a 1946 promotional photograph for the music “ ‘Til the Clouds roll By,” paved the method for generations of african American performers v a smoldering singing layout steeped in early jazz and also blues. “I was unique in that i was a sort of black color that white people could accept,” Horne once said and also rued the she was an ext popular together a performer because she could “pass” because that white. (Associated push / WNET)
American actress-singer Lena Horne arrives at the Gare St. Lazare in Paris on may 26, 1950. (Associated Press)
George Burns and also Lena Horne join Perry Como on the singer’s popular range show, i beg your pardon ran top top NBC native 1955 to 1963. Horne shed some film, TV and radio work-related in the beforehand 1950s since of she involvement v two groups named together Communist fronts, yet she stayed a well-known nightclub/cabaret performer (Associated Press)
Singer and also actress Lena Horne v her husband, MGM music director Lennie Hayton, aboard the liner Liberte top top Sept. 11, 1952. Lock were showing up in brand-new York City after a concert and vacation tourism of France and also England. Afraid of adverse public reaction, lock married in Paris in 1947 yet did not announce their union for virtually three years. (Associated Press)
In the 1950s, Lena Horne honed her singing at together clubs together the Cocoanut Grove in L.A., shown here in 1956.
Actress-singer Lena Horne in 1957. “Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria” to be RCA Victors biggest-selling album by a woman vocalist the year. (Associated push / Photofest / WNET)
Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Lena Horne together she meets the actors after attending the yearly Royal variety command power at the London Palladium top top Nov. 2, 1964. The display raised around $100,000 because that charities. (Associated Press)
Actress-singer Lena Horne on the movie collection of “Death the a Gunfighter” in Hollywood in 1968. (Associated Press)
Lena Horne performs in ~ the spirit Food Dinner benefit for the free Southern Theatre at new York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1969. (Moneta Sleet Jr. / Ebony Collection)
The entertainer made a triumphant return in the 1981 Broadway manufacturing “Lena Horne: The Lady and also Her Music.” She obtained a distinct Tony Award for the autobiographical present that ran for much more than a year and produced a Grammy Award-winning soundtrack album. (Associated Press)
Actress Debbie Reynolds, right, congratulates Horne backstage at new York’s Nederlander Theatre after see “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music.” (Ray Stubblebine / connected Press)
Lena Horne with document producer Quincy Jones, left, holding his Grammy, and Dan Morgenstern that the nationwide Academy of record Arts and also Sciences as she screens her Grammy and also the record that deserve it, in new York in 1982. (Ron Frehm / linked Press)
Lena Horne celebrates her 65th birthday and also the close up door of she Broadway operation in “Lena Horne: The Lady and also Her Music” through jazz artist counting Basie ~ above June 30, 1982. (Nancy Kaye / linked Press)
Actress Lillian Gish, left, Horne and also actress-singer Cher in ~ the 36th annual Tony Awards ceremony in new York City in 1982. (Suzanne Vlamis / associated Press)
In an undated photo, Lena Horne provides a radio appearance. Doubter Don Heckman has said the Horne was “one of the legend divas of renowned music” ---a singer who “belonged in the pantheon of an excellent female artists that includes Ethel Waters, billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, buy it Vaughan and Carmen McRae.”
Two recipients of the 1985 Governor’s art Awards, charity Brooke Astor, left, and singer Lena Horne, posture together throughout award ceremonies in ~ the urban Museum of arts in new York in 1985. (Associated Press)
Lena Horne in 1994. “My life has actually been about surviving. Follow me the way I likewise became one artist. Its an interesting journey. One in which music ended up being my refuge and also then my salvation,” Horne created in “Lena Horne: In Her own Voice.” (Garth Vaughan / linked Press)
Though Horne personified the glamour of Hollywood, she likewise became energetic in the ‘60s civil civil liberties movement, speak at rallies and also singing in ~ demonstrations. (John Abbott / Blue keep in mind Records / AP)
In 1997, the performer was honored at the culture of Singers’ Lena Horne 80th date of birth Gala in new York. (Aubrey Reuben / linked Press)
“Stormy Weather” to be Lena Horne’s signature song as well as a chillingly apt metaphor for her career. Long commemorated for her striking beauty and also silky voice, she overcame profound racism ~ above her method to coming to be one the the best-known african American performers in the country.
At MGM, she had a seven-year contract in the 1940s once no various other African American had actually such permanent deals. However her movie scenes to be filmed so they could be conveniently excised for release in the Jim raven South.
As a singer in the 1950s, Horne regularly performed because that white audience in supper clubs then cursed the audience under her breath together she took she bows, her biographer created last year.
The glamorous Horne would certainly go ~ above to it is in “one the the legend divas of famous music,” jazz movie critic Don Heckman created in The times in 1997, v a voice that virtually caressed “with its warm timbre and also seductive drawl,”
Horne, whose career spanned more than 60 years, died Sunday of heart fail at brand-new York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell clinical Center, stated her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley. She to be 92.
She do “in-roads into a human being that had never prior to been explored by african American women, and she did that on her very own terms,” Grammy-winning producer Quincy Jones said in a statement. He referred to as her “one that the great artistic icons of the 20th century.”
To aid out she family throughout the Depression, Horne obtained a project as a 16-year-old chorus girl in 1933 in ~ the fabled cotton Club in Harlem. She went on to have actually a career that consisted of film, television, Grammy-winning records, a one-woman Broadway show and also untold nightclub appearances.
As a singer, she “belonged in the pantheon of an excellent female artists” that has Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae, Heckman created in 1997.
Horne, then 80 and cutting a new album, took a various view.
“Oh, please,” she told the writer. “I’m really not miss out on Pretentious. I’m just a survivor. Just being myself.”
When she arrived in Hollywood in 1941, she had currently sung v the orchestra the white bandleader Charlie Barnet, make it one of the era’s few integrated swing bands. She likewise had been a cabaret sensation at the reputation Cafe society Downtown society in brand-new York’s Greenwich Village.
At the little Troc, a little club ~ above the Sunset Strip, the solution was similar. “She has actually knocked the movie populace bowlegged and is up to her ear in offers,” one news account reported.
After signing v MGM, she damaged through as an african American actress on the silver screen. With her copper-toned skin and dazzling smile, she was “Hollywood’s first black beauty, sex symbol, to sing star,” as Vogue magazine explained her years later.
“I was distinct in that i was a type of black color that white civilization could accept,” Horne once said and also rued that she was much more popular as a performer because she can “pass” for white.
Refusing come play maids or other stereotypical components then available to black color actors, Horne had actually a nonspeaking function as a singer in her an initial MGM movie, “Panama Hattie,” a 1942 comedy.
That set the ton for lot of the 1940s as she showed up in more than a dozen films, consisting of “Swing Fever,” “Broadway Rhythm” and “Ziegfeld Follies.”
In most of them, she had cameos just as a singer and also was often clad in a sophisticated evening gown, shown singing if leaning against a pillar. It came to be her on-screen trademark.
“They didn’t make me into a maid, but they didn’t do me right into anything rather either,” she composed in “Lena,” she 1965 autobiography. “I came to be a butterfly pinned come a obelisk singing far in Movieland.”
Horne’s musical numbers generally were shot separately of the films’ narratives, do them straightforward to it is in deleted later when screened in the Jim raven South.
Two 1943 films were exceptions, the all-black musicals in i m sorry she starred — “Cabin in the Sky” and “Stormy Weather.”
Her memorable rendition that Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler’s “Stormy Weather” in the movie became a fight recording because that Horne. It was also the surname James Gavin made decision for his 2009 story of her.
A human being War II pinup, Horne in 1944 became the first African American to appear on the covering of a movie magazine, activity Picture.
“In the background of American famous entertainment, no mrs had ever looked choose Lena Horne. No one had any kind of other black woman had looks taken into consideration as ‘safe’ and non-threatening,” Donald Bogle composed in his 1980 book “Brown Sugar: over One hundred years of America’s black Female Superstars.”
“The Horne demeanor — distant and also aloof — argued that she to be a woman … who showed up as if all her life she had actually been put on a pedestal and everything had come easily.... Fact was an additional matter.”
She was born Lena mary Calhoun Horne ~ above June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, N.Y. She father to be a gambler who left the family members when she to be 3, and her mother was one actress.
Although she periodically went on the roadway with she mother, Horne was largely raised by her paternal grandparents. Her “steely suffragette grandmother” trained her not to tolerate racism and also emphasized ladylike dignity and precise speech, Gavin wrote.
She belonged to the “black bourgeoisie” by virtue of she light skin, sleek manner and upward striving, qualities that made she acceptable come whites, Gavin called The Times.
Through her mother’s friend, Horne acquired a task at the noodle Club, which resulted in her showing up in 1934’s “Dance with Your Gods,” an all-black drama that had a brief Broadway run.
While through the all-black Noble Sissle society Orchestra, she made her recording debut in 1936, singing “That’s What Love Did come Me” and also “I take it You.”
In at an early stage 1937, Horne married louis Jones, a political operative that was about nine years she senior. At 19, she worked out into domestic life in Pittsburgh and had a daughter and also a son, Gail and Teddy. By 1940, the pair was separated and later divorced.
Money problems during the marital relationship prompted her to expropriate a co-starring duty in “The duke Is Tops,” a low-budget, 1938 afri American movie musical. She additionally appeared in “Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds the 1939,” a short-lived Broadway revue.
After the split of she marriage, Horne join the Barnet orchestra and made a hit record, “Good because that Nothing Joe,” but left the tape in 1941.
While under contract to MGM in the 1940s, Horne met Lennie Hayton, a staff composer and arranger at the studio who was white. Afraid of disadvantage public reaction, lock married in Paris in 1947 however did no announce their union for almost three years.
Later, Horne said she became involved with Hayton since she thought he might be advantageous to her career.
“He could get me into places no black manager could,” she said the brand-new York times in 1981. Yet “because he was a quite man and also because he was in my corner, I started to love him.”
But gift married come a white man, who she as soon as said “taught me every little thing I recognize musically,” took a toll fee — from she impatience with black critics who questioned the marriage to her sometimes using her husband as a “whipping boy” and also making him “pay for whatever the whites had done come us.”
While performing at Cafe culture Downtown, Horne ended up being friends v Paul Robeson, a singer-actor and political activist who through Walter White, a leader that the national Assn. For the breakthrough of fancy People, urged she to use her talent because that a larger cause than an individual success.
“They called me … I had to think around sharecroppers and Pullman porters,” Horne later said. “It ended up being my civil-rights training ground.”
Primarily due to the fact that of she friendship through Robeson and her involvement v two groups named as Communist fronts, Horne lost some film, TV and radio work in the at an early stage 1950s.
But she remained focused on her critically acclaimed nightclub/cabaret act.
In 1957, “Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria” was RCA Victor’s biggest-selling album by a woman vocalist.
By the late 1950s, Horne was ago on TV and soon starring in the long-running hit Broadway music “Jamaica,” which earned her a Tony award nomination.
Unable to stay in the white-only many hotels she performed in because she was black, Horne occurred what she later defined as “a toughness, a method of isolating” it s her from the audience.
“There was no cuteness or coyness around her,” comedian Alan King claimed of Horne in the 1996 documentary “Lena Horne: In Her own Voice.” “Lena came out there and stuck it right in their face — boom! She to be radiantly and also subtly brazen, speak to herself, ‘You want to take it me to bed, however you i will not ~ let me come in the front door.’ ”
Throughout her at an early stage career, Horne competent the injustices endured by african Americans at the time.
While touring through the USO during civilization War II, she was meant to entertain the white soldiers before showing up before african American troops.
A job after performing for white soldiers in an Arkansas auditorium, she went back to entertain black color troops in your mess hall. As soon as she discovered that German detainees of battle were seated in former of black soldiers, she marched turn off the platform, rotate her earlier on the POWs and also sang come the black color soldiers in the ago of the hall.
Horne’s long-suppressed anger over the treatment of blacks in white culture erupted in 1960 as soon as she overheard a drunk white male at the Luau restaurant in Beverly Hills usage a gyeongju epithet to describe her.
Jumping up, she threw one ashtray, a table lamp and also several glasses in ~ him, cut the masculine forehead.
When reports of she outburst showed up in newspapers throughout the country, Horne was surprised in ~ the hopeful response, mainly from afri Americans.
“Phone calls and also telegrams came in from every over,” she called the Christian science Monitor in 1984. “It was the first time that struck me that black human being related to each other in bigger means than ns realized.”
Horne became an ext active in the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, participating in a meeting with significant blacks with then-Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy ~ violence in Birmingham, Ala., and also singing at civil-rights rallies.
In the early 1970s, 3 of her family members members died — she father, her kid from kidney disease and her husband indigenous a love attack.
She i was withdrawn in grief until King “bullied” her the end of her depression, and she returned to singing and recording, Horne later said.
She toured with Tony Bennett and appeared v him on Broadway in “Tony & Lena Sing” in 1974, and also played Glinda the good Witch in “The Wiz,” the 1978 movie musical directed by Sidney Lumet, that was then she son-in-law.
In 1981, she do a triumphant return to Broadway in the fight “Lena Horne: The Lady and also Her Music.” climate 63, she obtained a one-of-a-kind Tony award for she autobiographical show that ran ~ above Broadway for much more than a year and also produced a Grammy Award-winning soundtrack album.
Naturally, she rendition that “Stormy Weather” was a show-stopper.
She sang the number twice, very first as she had actually in the movie once she remained in her 20s and also then in ~ the end, indigenous the view of a woman in she 60s who had actually experienced a lifetime of love and also misery.
She was a receiver of the Kennedy facility Honors in 1984.
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As Horne said in “Lena Horne: In Her own Voice”: “My life has been around surviving. Along the way I likewise became an artist. It’s an exciting journey. One in which music became my refuge and also then my salvation.”
Besides her daughter, she is endured by five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.