Sarah Lois Vaughan (March 27, 1924 _ April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer, described by Scott Yanow as having "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century." Nicknamed "Sailor" (for her salty speech), "Sassy" and "The Divine One", Sarah Vaughan was a Grammy Award winner. The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her its "highest honor in jazz", the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 1989. Biographies of Vaughan frequently stated that she was immediately thrust into stardom after a winning Amateur Night performance at Harlem's Zeus Theater. In fact, the story that biographer Renee relates seems to be a bit more complex. Vaughan was frequently accompanied by a friend, Doris Robinson, on her trips into New York City. Sometime in the fall of 1942 (when Sarah was 18 years old), Vaughan suggested that Robinson enter the Apollo Theater Amateur Night contest. Vaughan played piano accompaniment for Robinson, who won second prize.
Contributions by Gareth E Kegg, SmokeyTheCat, and Christiern Albertson.