Famous Black Jazz Singers

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 1 
Billie Holiday
(One of the Greatest Jazz Singers from the 1930s to the 1950s)
Billie Holiday
4
Birthdate: April 7, 1915
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 17, 1959
Jazz legend Billie Holiday had a tumultuous childhood and ended up in prison due to prostitution. Upon her release, at 14, she started singing using her pseudonym and performed at sold-out Carnegie Hall shows. Nicknamed Lady Day, she was riddled with alcohol and drug issues. She won four posthumous Grammys.
 2 
Sade
(Frontwoman of the Soul Band Sade)
Sade
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ibadan, Nigeria

Nigerian-British singer Helen Folasade Adu, or Sade Adu, often blends Afro-Cuban tunes with soul and smooth jazz in her music. The Grammy Award winner had initially studied fashion designing and been a model. The founder of the band Sade, she has released iconic tracks such as No Ordinary Love.

 3 
Johnny Mathis
8
Birthdate: September 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gilmer, Texas, United States

Johnny Mathis is an American singer and songwriter. Best known for his contribution to popular music, Mathis has been honored with many awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award. Johnny Mathis is also renowned for his philanthropic efforts; he has supported such organizations as the American Cancer Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association.

 4 
Cab Calloway
(Singer)
Cab Calloway
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochester
Died: November 18, 1994

Jazz singer and dancer, Cab Calloway, was a famous vocalist of the swing era.  From the early 1930s to the late 1940s, he led a very popular band that included musicians like  Dizzy Gillespie, Jonah Jones, and Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham. A man of color, he became the first African-American musician to sell a million records from a single song.

 5 
Macy Gray
(Singer-songwriter)
Macy Gray
7
Birthdate: September 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States
 6 
Al Jarreau
(Musician)
Al Jarreau
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 12, 2017
 7 
Nina Simone
(One of the Most Influential Musical Artists of the 20th Century)
Nina Simone
0
Birthdate: February 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tryon, North Carolina, United States
Died: April 21, 2003

Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Nina Simone was a pioneering recording artist whose career was characterized by improvisational genius and fits of outrage. Nina continues to be an important musician and has influenced several artists like Elton John, Adele, David Bowie, Madonna, and Aretha Franklin. She was also a civil rights activist.

 8 
Sarah Vaughan
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 3, 1990
 9 
Nancy Wilson
(Notable for Her Single ‘(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am')
Nancy Wilson
3
Birthdate: February 20, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chillicothe, Ohio, United States
Died: December 13, 2018
 10 
Dinah Washington
5
Birthdate: August 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States
Died: December 14, 1963
 11 
Roy Ayers
(Jazz Composer Best Known for His Compositions: 'Everybody Loves the Sunshine' and 'Searchin')
Roy Ayers
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
One of the greatest vibraphone players of all time, Roy Ayers was a pioneer of jazz-funk and acid jazz. Born to a trombone player father and a pianist mother, he was destined to be a musician. He soared to fame with tracks such as Everybody Loves the Sunshine.
 12 
Ruth Brown
(Singer-songwriter)
Ruth Brown
2
Birthdate: January 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Died: November 17, 2006
 13 
Billy Eckstine
(Musician)
Billy Eckstine
2
Birthdate: July 8, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 8, 1993
 14 
Big Joe Turner
2
Birthdate: May 18, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: November 24, 1985
 15 
Jimmy Scott
(Vocalist)
Jimmy Scott
2
Birthdate: July 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died: June 12, 2014
 16 
Carmen McRae
(One of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century)
Carmen McRae
2
Birthdate: April 8, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: November 10, 1994
 17 
Concha Buika
(Singer)
Concha Buika
2
Birthdate: May 11, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palma, Spain

Concha Buika is a Spanish singer who has been active in the music industry for two decades. She is the daughter of writer Juan Balboa. As a singer and composer, she derives inspiration from a wide range of genres including jazz, flamenco, pop, soul, and African polyrhythm. She is internationally famous and has performed in US, Europe, and Latin America. 

 18 
Thelma Carpenter
1
Birthdate: January 15, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 14, 1997
 19 
Kanda Bongo Man
(Musician)
Kanda Bongo Man
0
Birthdate: January 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Inongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
 20 
Barbara Hendricks
(American Concert Singer and Operatic Soprano)
Barbara Hendricks
1
Birthdate: November 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Stephens, Arkansas, United States
 21 
Ray Phiri
(Jazz musician)
Ray Phiri
0
Birthdate: March 23, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nelspruit, South Africa
Died: July 12, 2017
 22 
Franco Luambo
(Musician)
Franco Luambo
0
Birthdate: July 6, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Died: October 12, 1989
 23 
China Moses
(Singer)
China Moses
1
Birthdate: January 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
 24 
Dorival Caymmi
(Brazilian Singer and Songwriter)
Dorival Caymmi
1
Birthdate: April 30, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Died: August 16, 2008

Dorival Caymmi was a Brazilian singer-songwriter. He played a major role in the birth of Brazil's bossa nova movement. He gained much fame for his ballads celebrating the fishermen and women of Bahia. In an extensive career spanning more than 70 years, he composed around 100 songs and influenced Brazil's image in the eyes of both Brazilians and foreigners. 

 25 
Sam Mangwana
(Former Musician who is frontman of his bands Festival des Maquisards and African All Stars)
Sam Mangwana
0
Birthdate: February 21, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
 26 
Doc Cheatham
(Jazz Trumpeter)
Doc Cheatham
1
Birthdate: June 13, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died: June 2, 1997
 27 
Gloria Lynne
(Vocalist)
Gloria Lynne
1
Birthdate: November 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: October 15, 2013
 28 
Dorothy Masuka
1
Birthdate: September 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Died: February 23, 2019

Dorothy Masuka was a jazz singer whose music gained popularity in South Africa during the 1950s. Masuka's music had a strong influence on the people of South Africa, so much so that the government banned her song Dr. Malan which was about difficult laws in the country. She was exiled in 1961 when she performed a song for Patrice Lumumba.

 29 
Rockin' Dopsie
(Accordion Player, Singer)
Rockin' Dopsie
0
Birthdate: February 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Carencro, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 26, 1993
Prince Kudakwashe Musarurwa
0
Birthdate: December 5, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Zimbabwe
Died: February 15, 2020
 31 
Carmen Souza
(Singer-songwriter)
Carmen Souza
0
Birthdate: May 20, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
 32 
Wambali Mkandawire
(Jazz Singer)
Wambali Mkandawire
0
Birthdate: July 10, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Democratic Republic of Congo
Died: January 31, 2021