Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on May 10th 2010 10:09AM by Mike Ayers
Born in Brooklyn in 1917, Horne was a force in early MGM musicals during the '40s, such as the Cole Porter vehicle 'Panama Hattie' as well as 'Cabin in the Sky.' She quickly became disenchanted with Hollywood as she was often passed over for roles due to the fact that she was black. Most notably, she lost a part in 1951's 'Show Boat' to Ava Gardner because of a ban on interracial relationships depicted on film.
In the '50s, Horne changed directions and pursued a career as a recording artist and night club singer, an avenue that was much more welcoming to a non-white woman. She recorded over 25 albums in her career, with her best known being 1959's 'Porgy and Bess,' a collaboration with Harry Belafonte.
Horne's career yielded four Grammy awards and eight nominations, with the first being in 1961 for her album 'Lena on the Sands.' Her first win didn't come until 1981 when she won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her album 'Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music,' a Quincy Jones soundtrack of a Broadway production of the same name. In 1989, she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1995, she won her second Grammy, taking home Best Jazz Vocal Album for 'An Evening With Lena Horne.' Her last release was 2006's 'Seasons of a Life,' which collected unreleased material from sessions from 1994 to 2000, including work with Herbie Hancock.
Over the years, her career has also been recognized by the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the ASCAP Pied Piper Award, Howard University, which awarded her an honorary doctorate degree, and the NAACP, which presented her with an "Outstanding Jazz Artist" award in 1999.
Horne is survived by her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, and her granddaughter, Jenny Lumet.