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Ella Fitzgerald honored with Google Doodle

April 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 25 (UPI) -- U.S. jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald was honored with a Google Doodle on the search engine's homepage Thursday on what would have been her 96th birthday.

Fitzgerald, who was born in 1917 and died June 15, 1996, at 79, was known among "jazz royalty" as the "first lady of song," the "queen of jazz" and "Lady Ella."

The Google Doodle shows a caricature of her performing on stage.

Fitzgerald was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her "scat singing."

Scat singing in jazz is vocal improvisation with wordless "vocables," nonsense syllables or no words at all.

Fitzgerald was a notable interpreter of "the great American songbook" of the most influential U.S. popular songs from the 1920s to around 1960, especially from Broadway shows and Hollywood musicals. Her repertoire also included Brazilian bossa nova and opera.

Over the course of her 59-year recording career, Fitzgerald sold 40 million copies of her 200-plus albums, won 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian award, by George H. W. Bush.

She gave a final concert at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1991. It was the 26th time she performed there.

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