Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald
Success is not achieved simply by having a voice. Ella Fitzgerald, despite her extraordinary singing voice, had to overcome many obstacles to achieve greatness. Having a rough childhood was only the beginning. Her mother passed away from a heart attack when she was only nine years old, leaving her to live in the shadow of her abusive father. She was rescued by her aunt only to end up working as a lookout for a brothel, as well as with the Mafia. But she couldn’t run forever, and she eventually wound up at an orphanage and later a Training School for Girls in New York. Yet still she managed to get free and was homeless for a time. Finally she caught her break at the Apollo Theater and won a singing contest with songs from her favorite musicians: "Judy" and "The Object of My Affection" by the Boswell Sisters. From there she slowly became more and more popular, and after re-writing the nursery rhyme “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” her fame exploded - but the obstacles were not over. In her last years, she was diagnosed with heart failure and had to have both legs amputated due to complications related to diabetes, and she passed away on the day of the Playboy Jazz Festival in 1996. The scrolling marquee at the festival read: “Ella We Will Miss You.”
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