Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (born June 30, 1917) is an American singer and actress. She has recorded and performed extensively, independently and with other jazz notables, including Artie Shaw, Teddy Wilson, Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnet, Benny Carter, and Billy Eckstine. She currently lives in New York City and no longer makes public appearances.
Not only gifted vocally, but because she was beautiful and very light skinned, she fit in line with the white man’s standard of beauty. This is one of the things that allowed Lena Horne to do a little more than just sing in racist America. She also did movies.
As of 2009, Lena Horne is still alive and is 92 years old. God bless her. And we are thankful for her extensive contributions to music and the arts and thus to our lives.
The classic songs: “Stormy Weather” and “Someone to Watch Over Me” are on the playlist below. Her performance on all of the pieces she did is astounding and they stand as models for future vocalists.
I am purposely not putting extensive historical information on any of the artists in “The Greats Series,” because I am hoping that people will be inspired to do their own research and to discover for themselves the wonderful gifted people.