In Memoriam | Lena Horne | 1917-2010


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On May 9, 2010, Lena Mary Calhoun Horne, professionally known as Lena Horne, passed away.  A talented actress, engaged social activist, and sublime vocalist, Lena Horne was one of the first female jazz vocalists that I fell in love with.

I got introduced to Jazz music in middle school at the same time I delved into musical theater.  There was a musical called “Show Boat” (a heavy musical that dealt with integration and interracial romance) that I was researching at the local library, and I remember finding a version of my favorite song from the musical on a jazz sampler.  The song was “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and it was performed by Lena Horne.  There is a lot of history and trivia out there, and rather than write it all out here, I suggest you click on this IMBD link to read more.

Heaven.  Her voice was expressed so much emotion and expression that my heart melted, and she’s been a constant staple of my jazz collection and playlist rotation ever since.

Today, I remember a voice that I fell in love with.  With her passing back in 2010, a little bit of my heart broke. A classic beauty, sublime talent and divine individual doesn’t come around that often.  I’m just glad a bit of her soul is still with us in recordings and video.  Below are some of my favorite Lena Horne performances.

R.I.P., Lena. My “Lady” of jazz.

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