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Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (8) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 29 August 1924Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
Date of Death 14 December 1963Detroit, Michigan, USA  (accidental overdose of prescription drugs)
Birth NameRuth Lee Jones
Nickname Queen of the blues

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the former Ruth Lee Jones moved with her family to Chicago as a young girl. She considered the Windy City her true home. And it was there in early 1940s that a local nightclub owner provided her first gig - and a new name that she would make famous. By 1959 she had earned a Grammy for her version of the song "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes." In his 2001 biography Q, music legend Quincy Jones vividly describes Washington's style, saying she "could take the melody in her hand, hold it like an egg, crack it open, fry it, let it sizzle, reconstruct it, put the egg back in the box and back in the refrigerator and you would've still understood every single syllable."

But the singer's musical gifts were offset by a wild and extravagant personal life. Married seven times, Washington battled weight problems and raced through her profits buying shoes, furs and cars in an effort to lift her spirits. Washington also tried numerous prescription medications, primarily for dieting and insomnia. A mix of the pills she was taking in 1963 caused her death, which was ruled an accident. Her gift lives on through her rich musical legacy.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (8)

Richard Lane (2 July 1963 - 14 December 1963) (her death)
Rafael Campos (6 January 1961 - 1962) (divorced)
Eddie Chamblee (1 March 1957 - 1959) (divorced)
Jimmy Cobb (March 1952 - ?) (divorced)
Walter Buchanan (13 October 1950 - 1952) (divorced)
Jenkins, George (1946 - ?) (divorced) (1 child)
Young, John (24 June 1942 - 1943) (divorced)
? (? - ?) (divorced) (1 son)

Trivia (13)

Married seven times.
Her name was changed to Dinah Washington by Lionel Hampton.
Was one of the performers featured on a set of stamps of rock and blues legends issued by the U.S. Postal Service in June 1993.
Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 (under the category Early Influence).
Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1987.
Ranked #48 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
She chose and imposed Quincy Jones as her musical arranger, when he was not yet a name in the music industry.
Her two sons were George and Robert (Bobby).
Was godmother to singer Patti Austin.
One short-lived marriage was to Walter Buchanan, a bassist for Arnett Cobb.
One of her many husbands was George Jenkins, a one-time drummer in Lionel Hampton's band.
She was a progressive Democrat who strongly supported the presidency of John F. Kennedy.
In October 2013, her recording of "Romance In The Dark" was used in a TV advertisement for Guiness Brewers.

Personal Quotes (1)

There is only one heaven, one earth and one queen (me) Queen Elizabeth is an impostor. DW, during a London performance

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