Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington

Original Name Ruth Lee Jones
Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, USA
Death 14 Dec 1963 (aged 39)
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Burial Alsip, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 1074 · View Source
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Legendary singer. Nicknamed "Queen of the Blues." Ruth Lee Jones was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her family moved to Chicago three years later. She started her musical career singing gospel and playing piano in the church choir. After seeing Billie Holiday perform, she was influenced to start singing the blues and thereafter performed in local clubs, where local musicians dubbed her "Queen of the Blues." At age 18, she was discovered by Lionel Hampton and was hired to front his band. It is unknown whether Hampton or a club manager changed her name to Dinah Washington. While working with Hampton, she simultaneously recorded solo work and had a strong following when she decided to leave the band. She won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance in 1959 for "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes." Although the album was panned by critics, it was a commercial success. Unfortunately, her personal life was not as successful as her professional career. She was married seven times (the last time to football legend Dick "Night Train" Lane) and suffered from alcoholism and an addiction to diet pills. She died from an accidental overdose combining both substances.

Bio by: countedx58

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1074
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dinah Washington (29 Aug 1924–14 Dec 1963), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1074, citing Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .