Bessie Smith

The Empress of Blues

All About Elizabeth ¨Bessie¨ Smith

Elizabeth Smith, better known as Bessie, was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 15th, 1894. Orphaned at a young age, she was raised by her older siblings. For money, she would sing and dance on the streets. At the age of 18, Bessie joined a traveling vaudeville troupe. She started her performing days as a dancer. Then, her she realized she could do more then just dance. As her love for singing increased, so did her fame. She signed record deals, performed on many stages, and eventually, became the richest African-American woman ever.

Slowing to a Stop

Bessie Smith was a tough woman. After a stunning performance, she was stabbed. Bessie ran after her attacker, the knife still lodged in her chest. She then hurried to the hospital, and made her next performance the next day.

Bessie Smith had a off-and-on marriage life and a problem with alcohol. Her personal life soon got mixed up with her business life, and her performing slowed down. She still signed record deals and sang, but she died from a car crash before she could record her last album.

Bessie Smith's Impact

Bessie Smith rose to the top quickly, known as one of the most successful black women ever. She was an example for all colored women, showing that they could be great if they tried. She also was an example for all women, everywhere. She displayed courage, and showed women of all different colors that they could do anything.

But, it wasn't just the women population she wowed. Everyone loved Bessie and looked up to her. She was even put on postage stamps!

Bessie Smith - Mini Bio

Bessie Smith's Career

Above is a video all about Bessie Smith and her booming career. This video is significant because it displays what kind of a life she had before she died. It explains how she became on of the top selling artists of her time. Watch this video to learn more about Bessie Smith and her many talents.

Songs by Bessie Smith

Go here to listen to ¨Downhearted Blues.¨ Click the play button to listen. It's near the ¨Notes¨ section.

Other songs by Bessie Smith include:

¨I Ain't Got Nobody.¨

¨St. Louis Blues.¨

¨Gimme a Pigfoot.¨

¨After You've Gone.¨

¨Baby Won't You Please Come Home.¨

Plus so many more!

*Just a note, you may have to press the back button once on the website page to get back to this flyer.*

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse started her career at a young age. She joined the prestigious Sylvia Young Theater School at the age of 12. But, just after a few years, she was kicked out. That same year, she got a demo record passed. This led her to record deal with Island/Universal. After that, she recorded many hit songs, earning the title ¨Best Female Solo Artist.¨ As Winehouse's fame grew, so did her problems. She got drunk often and went to disapproving clubs. She had an on-and-off relationship with her music assistant, and their regular arguments turned into violent fist fights. When she was recommended for rehab, Amy wrote a song called ¨Rehab,¨ which talked about her refusal for help. Amy continued to worsen her future. She performed drunk, smoked, and used all different kinds of illegal drugs. She even went into a coma from an overdose. Yet all of her bad habits, her songs were still hitting the top charts. Eventually, all of Amy Winehouse's habits and addictions caught up to her. She died in 2011, age 27, from alcohol poisoning.
Jazz Influences on a Short but Influential Career

The Influences of Amy Winehouse

This video talks about where Amy's love of music began.


Listen to ¨Rehab¨ by Amy Winehouse.

Rehab (Amy Winehouse song)

Scroll down until you see the section ¨Live Performances.¨ Click the play button to listen to a clip.

The Empress and the Best Female Solo Artis

Album Covers

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