The World Says Goodbye and Goodnight to Lena Horne

| May 10, 2010 | 0 Comments

Image from patchwork-peggy.co.uk

On Sunday, May 9th, the entertainment industry lost an icon when legendary singer Lena Horne died. Since the 1940s, Horne’s smoky voice has thrilled generations, as her amazing range had her singing jazz, blues, popular music and Broadway musicals. Never out of the limelight, in addition to her many hit records; Horne was a film actor and Broadway star.

Lena Horne began her amazing career as the first black performer to make numerous strides, including performing with an all white band, singing at the world-famous Copacabana nightclub and being contracted to act in major motion pictures. Her first starring role came in 1943’s “Cabin in the Sky.” She went on to star as Selina Rogers in the musical movie “Stormy Weather,” from which sprang the hit title song which would become her most well known hit.

Always on the cutting edge, Horne left California, where interracial marriages were illegal, to marry musical composer and director Lennie Hayton. In the early 1950s she spent considerable time in New York where she starred on Broadway. Soon after, Horne became officially engaged in the black civil rights movement, participating in the march on Washington while Martin Luther King Jr. was giving his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Widowed in 1971, Horne returned to live in New York, reengaging in her passion for Broadway musicals and concert performances. In 1981, Horne won a Tony Award for her one-woman hit Broadway show, “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music.” At the age of 92, musical icon and civil rights advocate Lena Horne died of heart failure at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

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Category: Featured News, Music

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