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Fun Facts about Ella Fitzgerald

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Did You Know?
Did you know that Ella Fitzgerald was an actress as well as a singer? Did you know that she appeared in television and movies? Do you the titles of her best-selling songs and how she first started a career in the music business? Check out our fun facts to discover some incredible information about this inspirational star.

Fun Fact 1 Ella Fitzgerald was a famous American Jazz singer who was born on April 25th, 1917 in Newport News, Virginia, U.S.A. Her middle name was Jane.


Fun Fact 2 This successful jazz singer had a fantastic vocal range which earned her various nicknames including the 'Queen of Jazz', 'Lady Ella' and the 'First Lady of Song'.

Fun Fact 3: Ella Fitzgerald had a long and successful music career. She recorded songs for around sixty years! Some of her most successful and best-selling songs included Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye and Dream A Little Dream of Me.

Fun Fact 4: Ella Fitzgerald's parents were William and Temperance (Tempie). Her parents split up shortly after she was born. Her mother met another man called Joseph Da Silva who was a Portuguese immigrant. They moved to New York and Ella started attending Benjamin Franklin Junior High School when she was six years old.

Fun Fact 5: Ella Fitzgerald had a passion for dancing and singing. Her family regularly attended church and it was during these days that Ella's love for music developed.

Fun Fact 6: Ella Fitzgerald faced many difficult times during her childhood as her mother passed away in 1932 leaving her with her abusive stepfather. After playing truant from school and later running away to live with her aunt, the authorities placed her in an orphanage in the Bronx. She was later moved to Hudson, to the New York Training School for Girls. Ella's sorrowful time continued as she escaped from the Training School and ended up homeless for a time.

Fun Fact 7: Ella Fitzgerald was seventeen years old when her music career began. She performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York's area of Harlem.

Fun Fact 8: Ella Fitzgerald began singing with Chick Webb and his band the 'Tiny Bradshaw' at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. They produced many songs including 'Love and Kisses' and 'If You Can't Sing It, You'll Have to Swing It'.

Fun Fact 9: Ella Fitzgerald became widely recognized when she produced a version of 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket' in 1938 which was a nursery rhyme that she had co-written.

Fun Fact 10: In 1939, after the death of their bandleader Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald took over the lead position and the group were renamed 'Ella and her Famous Orchestra'. Together, they produced almost 150 songs.

Fun Fact 11: Ella and her Famous Orchestra came to an end in 1942 as she had decided to become a solo singer.

Fun Fact 12: Ella Fitzgerald starred as Maggie Jackson is the Warner Brothers movie 'Jack Webb's'. She regarded this acting role as the biggest thing that had ever happened to her. Following this, Ella made numerous TV and film appearances.

Fun Fact 13: Ella Fitzgerald produced some excellent songs with Louis Armstrong. Together, they produced two Verve studio albums

Fun Fact 14: Ella Fitzgerald received countless awards for her success in the music business. She had sold more than 40 million album copies. She was awarded 13 Grammy Awards.

Fun Fact 15: Ella Fitzgerald was a talented lady and her achievements were recognized. She was presented with the National Medal of Arts Award by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George Bush. She passed away in 1996 at the age of 79.

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