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Ella Fitzgerald honoured by 'Google Doodle'

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Ella Fitzgerald, legend in her own right and the unquestioned ‘queen of jazz’ would have turned a sprightly 96 years old today had she not been cruelly snatched away from us on 15 June 1996 at the age of 79 after a battle with heart disease. To commemorate the shining star of song, Google has dedicated their front page to a ‘Google Doodle’ that featured a cartoon of her performing on stage. The internet giant has of course managed to smuggle the word ‘Google’ onto the stage backdrop.

The singer was born on 25 April 1917. She made her first recording in 1936 at the tender age of 17 and that proved the springboard for a glittering career that spanned six decades and saw her win 13 Grammy awards.

‘Lady Ella’, whose vocal range took in three octaves recorded over 200 albums over the course of her career and clocked up sales of over 40m with a repertoire that included jazz, show tunes, bossa nova and opera. Her series of Songbook albums, which celebrated songwriters such as Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and the Gershwins, won her particular adulation and critical acclaim. She won a dazzling 13 Grammys over the years .

Her rise to fame was mirrored by regular television appearances that helped bring her further into contact with the white American mainstream. She appeared on the Bing Crosby Show, the Frank Sinatra Show, the Ed Sullivan Show, the Tonight Show, the Nat King Cole Show, the Andy Willams Show and the Dean Martin Show.

Amongst her many other honours, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.

She gave her final concert at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1991. The archive material from Ella's long career are housed in the Archives Center at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, while her personal music arrangements are at The Library of Congress. Her vast cookbook collection was donated to the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, and her published sheet music collection is at the Schoenberg Library in New York City.

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