Jazz singer, actress, and civil rights activist Lena Horne died Sunday, May 9th, 2010, at age 92.
Horne was primarily known for being one of the first black performers to be signed with a major film studio in Hollywood, and for her elegant and alluring big screen persona. Her expressive singing voice earned her musical roles in white movies in the 1940s, when it was still illegal for some theaters to screen films with black actors. Horne learned to sing jazz with help from Billy Strayhorn, and used her prestige to bring attention to the struggle for equal rights for blacks.
Image Courtesy of Blue Note Records