1917 - Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia on the 25th of April.
1934 - Ella's name was pulled in a weekly drawing at the Apollo and she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night.
1936 - Ella made her first recording. "Love and Kisses" was released under the Decca label.
1938 - She recorded a playful version of the nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket". The album sold one million copies, hit number one, and stayed on the pop charts for 17 weeks.
1939 - On the 16th of June, Ella mourned the loss of her mentor Chick Webb. In his absence the band was renamed "Ella Fitzgerald and her Famous Band," and she took on the overwhelming task of bandleader.
1946 - She met and fell in love with bassist Ray Brown. The two were married and eventually adopted a son, who they named Ray, Jr.
1952 - Ella and Ray divorced but remained good friends for the rest of their lives.
1956-1964 - She recorded covers of other musicians' albums, including those by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, the Gershwins, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hart.
1974 - Ella spent a legendary two weeks performing in New York with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie.
- She was inducted into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame, and received Kennedy Center Honors for her continuing contributions to the arts.
1987 - United States President Ronald Reagan awarded Ella the "National Medal of Arts".
1986 - In September, Ella underwent quintuple coronary bypass surgery.
1991 - She performed her final concert at New York's renowned "Carnegie Hall".
1996 - On the 15th of June, Ella Fitzgerald died in her Beverly Hills home.
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- "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."