Edward Kennedy Ellington
Or as he is more famously known by, Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington - Satin Doll
The video above is Duke Ellington performing "Satin Doll", written by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The song, written in 1953, has been recorded by multiple artists later including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, 101 Strings, and others. It is a jazz standard song and later had lyrics written by Johnney Mercer in 1960.
Duke Ellington was born in 1899 and as a child played the piano, like his mother did. At the age of 17, he started playing music professionally. Getting the opportunity to play at Harlem's Cotton Club, was a huge turning point in his career, as he was given access to perform in front of larger opportunities. In 1931 he left the cotton club and began to tour, which he would do for the rest of his life. He died in 1974 from lung cancer in New York City, but not before producing over 1000 pieces and receiving the medal of freedom.
How Duke Ellington was Significant to American Culture
Duke Ellington effected America greatly. He brought many people and tourists to Harlem when he was playing at the Cotton Club and helped the economy in Harlem because of that. He and his orchestra also affected America by changing hot jazz from the 20's into swing music of the 30's, evident in his song "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got Swing".
Lorde vs. Duke Ellington
I think that Lorde is very similar to Duke Ellington. They both have Grammy's, Lorde with two and Ellington with 13. They both had "breakout" years, Lorde in 2013, and Ellington's in 1927 when he joined the Cotton Club. They also both popularized a style of previously unpopular style of music, alternative for Lorde and Swing for Ellington. Here is "Royals" by Lorde:
Lorde - Royals (US Version)