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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lena Horne (1917–2010)

Singer, actress Known for not being limited by and transcending racial boundaries in the entertainment industry
From Brooklyn, New York, Lena Horne was raised by her mother, and her grandmother, Cora Calhoun Horne. Lena's grandmother took her to the NAACP and the Urban League and the Ethical Culture Society. Grandma sent Lena to the Ethical Culture school in New York. At age 16, Lena began working at Harlem's Cotton Club with Cab Calloway. First as a dancer, then in the chorus and later as a solo singer. She began singing with orchestras like Charlie Barnet's (white) orchestra. Singing is how she was discovered. From there she began playing clubs in Greenwich Village and then performing at Carnegie Hall.

Beginning in 1942 Lena Horne appeared in films. Her career included movies, Broadway and sound recordings.

  • Cabin In the Sky
  • Stormy Weather
  • The Wiz

  • Honored with many awards for her lifetime of success. She appeared in movies like

    Favorite Qoutes of Lena for SheFM

    • Always be smarter than the people who hire you.

    • It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.

    • You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way.

    Signature song: from a 1943 film of the same name, is "Stormy Weather."