Sarah Vaughan: Life Story and Beautiful Photos of One of the Most Wondrous Voices of the 20th Century

Sarah Vaughan, born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1924, grew up loving music and performing. Before becoming a successful solo artist, she worked with Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine bandleaders. At the beginning of her singing career, she won a talent contest held at Harlem’s Apollo Theater.

Vaughan was a Grammy Award winner known as “Sassy” and “The Divine One”. In 1989, she received the NEA Jazz Masters Award. Scott Yanow called her voice “one of the most wondrous of the 20th century.” A supremely gifted singer and performer, Vaughan was widely recognized throughout her career. She performed at the White House, and venues such as Carnegie Hall won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1989 and was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1990. She has also been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1989, Vaughan gave his final concert at New York’s Blue Note Club. She was married four times and divorced four times. Vaughan died of lung cancer in Hidden Hills at the age of 66 in 1990 in Los Angeles, California. Her adopted daughter survived her.

Below are some fabulous photos of young Sarah Vaughan from the 1940s and 1950s.

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Written by Alicia Linn

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