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Lillie Mae Jones (Carter, Betty)

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Born: 1929 AD
Died: 1998 AD, at 69 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Musicians, Singer

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1929 - Lillie Mae Jones or Betty Carter, born on the 16 of May in Flint, Michigan and grew up in Detroit, where her father led a church choir. She was an American jazz singer who was renowned for her improvisational technique and idiosyncratic vocal style. She studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory.

1945 - When she was sixteen, she sang with Charlie Parker. She later performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis and toured with Lionel Hampton, (from whom she received the nickname "Betty Bepop") where she perfected her scat singing of bebop.

1960 - 1970 - Her career eclipsed, but a series of duets with Ray Charles brought her a measure of popular recognition.


1977 - 1978 - She was well-received at the Newport Jazz Festival.

1988 - She won a Grammy for her album Look What I Got!.

1993 - She helped launch the Jazz Ahead program for young musicians at the Kennedy Center.

1994 - She performed at the White House was a headliner at Verve's 50th anniversary celebration in Carnegie Hall.

1997 - She was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton.

1998 - She remained active in jazz music until her death on the 26th of September at age 69 from pancreatic cancer.


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Page last updated: 9:30am, 30th Mar '07