(b Newport News, Va., 1918; d Beverly Hills, Calif., 1996).
Amer. singer. Sang in Harlem clubs in early 1930s until discovered by Chick Webb with whose band she sang from 1934. On his death in 1939 she led the band until 1942 when she became a free‐lance. Toured Eur., Canada, Japan, and USA with Norman Granz's ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’ from 1946. In scat‐singing, improvised melody and harmony to compete with instrumentalists. Sang at Carnegie Hall, NY, with Ellington, 1958. Made films and many recordings.