one of jazz's most influential female singers
Birthplace: Newark, N.J.
Best known for her operatic range, Vaughan was a pioneer in the use of bebop phrasing in popular songs. She began singing as a child with a church choir, and her career took off after winning an amateur contest at Harlem's Apollo Theater. She recorded with Earl Hines' big band and later Billy Eckstine's orchestra. But she spent most of her career as a solo artist. Her recordings include “A Night in Tunisia,” “If You Could See Me Now,” and “Tenderly.”Died: 4/3/1990