Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 - June 15, 1996), also known as the 'First Lady of Song', 'Queen of Jazz', and 'Lady Ella', was an American jazz and song vocalist. With a vocal range spanning three octaves (D3 to D6), she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a 'horn-like' improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. Fitzgerald was a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Over the course of her 59-year recording career, she was the winner of 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush. Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia, the child of a common-law marriage between William and Temperance 'Tempie' Fitzgerald. The pair separated soon after her birth, and Ella and her mother went to Yonkers, New York, where they eventually moved in with Tempie's longtime boyfriend, Joseph Da Silva.
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