Bessie Smith

The Empress of the Blues

Bessie Smith was born in 1894 Jazz singer who was considered one of the greatest Jazz Musicians of all time. They called her "The Empress of the Blues". Although her life was well off now, her childhood wasn't. In order to support her family, Bessie and her brother Andrew went busking downtown. She sang and danced while her brother played guitar.

In 1923, Bessie started to record. She also fell in love and got married. She was considered the highest paid black entertainer. Bessie's shows sometimes had 40 trumpet players accompanying her. Her first song "Gulf Coast Blues" became a big hit. Bessie made 160 recordings, often accompanying with Louis Armstrong and many other big hit jazz musicians. On September 26, 1937, Bessie Smith got into a car accident and died. Although she's gone, her music will never be forgotten.