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Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996) was a gifted American jazz artist. She had a warm and lovely voice, with notable rhythmic sense, versatility, and intonation, as well as exceptional talent at scat singing. Inventing her vocals as she sang, she produced melodic lines that put her in the category of great instrumental improvisers. In a career spanning seven decades, she created a legacy of acclaimed performances and a celebrated body of work.

— Read more about Ella Fitzgerald in the
First Lady of Song: Ella at 100 Online Exhibition

 

This collection showcases objects at the Smithsonian Institution that remember or were owned by Ella Fitzgerald. After Fitzgerald's death in 1996, a selection of her papers and belongings were donated to the National Museum of American History with the aid of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.  In addition, the National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum are among the other Smithsonian units that are home to additional miscellaneous objects related to Fitzgerald.