Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington

Source: Mercury Records (1952)

queen of the blues

They called her "Queen of the Blues." Dinah Washington, from Alabama - whose gritty, bluesy voice is instantly recognizable - died at the young age of 39. But in her short life, this powerhouse made her mark, not only in Jazz, but the blues, R&B, gospel and pop genres. Tony Bennett was a huge and envious fan, remarking that people would come to see Washington in Vegas, in greater numbers and with more enthusiasm than he ever got. It all began with winning a talent contest at the age of 15, leading to a jazz club gig where she performed upstairs while the great Billie Holiday sang downstairs. Dinah Washington (who suffered from very low self-esteem) was married eight times (with one lasting only a few months). It was in December of 1963 that husband number eight woke up to discover his wife lying in bed lifeless. An autopsy revealed she overdosed from prescription drugs apparently taken to fight insomnia and to lose weight. The world lost a major talent, but the incredible voice of Dinah Washington is still alive right here on Jazz Diva Radio !