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Sarah Vaughan

In the 1940s, when most women singers adorned big bands as stage attractions rather than legitimate members of jazz ensembles, Sarah Vaughan, along with her predecessor Ella Fitzgerald, helped elevate the vocalist's role as equal to that of the jazz instrumentalist. A woman known for her many vicissitudes, Vaughan's outspoken personality and artistic eloquence brought her the names “Sassy” and “The Divine One.” A talented pianist, she joined the ranks of the 1940s bebop movement and became, as a member of the Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine bands, one of its most celebrated vocalists. Her dynamic vocal range, sophisticated harmonic sense, and horn-like phrasing brought Vaughan million-selling numbers and a stage and recording career that spanned half a decade.

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