Ruth Brown (January 12, 1928 November 17, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter and actress also known as 'Queen of R&B' noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as 'So Long', 'Teardrops from My Eyes' and '(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean'. For these contributions, Atlantic became known as 'The house that Ruth built' (alluding to the popular nickname for Old Yankee Stadium). Following a resurgence that began in the mid-1970s and peaked in the 1980s, Brown used her influence to press for musicians' rights regarding royalties and contracts, which led to the founding of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Her performances in the Broadway musical Black and Blue earned Brown a Tony Award, and the original cast recording won a Grammy Award. Born Ruth Alston Weston in Portsmouth, Virginia, United States, she attended I. C. Norcom High School, which was then legally segregated.
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