Ella Fitzgerald

"The First Lady of Song"


Ella was born on April 25, 1918 to a troubled home in Newport News, Virginia. Her parents, William Fitzgerald and Temperance Williams Fitzgerald, separated in the first year of Ella's life. Ella and her mother moved to Yonkers, a city near New York City, soon after. They struggled financially for years, forcing Ella to find work to support the family, which now included her mother's boyfriend and a half-sister. Ella moved in with her aunt after her mother's death in 1932. She began to skip school and was then sent to a reform school, but she wasn't there long. At the age of 16, Ella was trying to make it on her own, living on the streets. In hopes of becoming a dancer, she entered an amateur competition in Harlem at the Apollo Theater. After seeing the dancing act that went on before her, she decided to sing for the audience instead. They were amazed. This performance got her on the map. Her next job was preforming at the Harlem Opera House. There she met Chick Webb, the leader of the band. They went on to preform together and became wildly popular. Even after her years with Webb's band, Ella was the star of the show. Her talents went on to win her 14 grammy awards along with other honorable awards. Ella died in 1996 at her home in Beverly Hills. Her voice will be missed, but she will always be remembered as the star she was.

Impact of the 20s

Ella had little impact on the 20's, due to her age, but they certainly had an impact on her. Growing up near New York City, she experienced the Harlem Renaissance first hand. Her childhood set path for the fantastic career she had in front of her. She may not have been famous during the 20's but people today definitely consider her to be one of the biggest starts during the Jazz Age.
Ella Fitzgerald - A-Tisket, A-Tasket

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