USC to honor Ella Fitzgerald

April 24, 2007 at 6:42 PM
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LOS ANGELES, April 24 (UPI) -- The University of Southern California is getting ready to celebrate the music of the late jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald.

The life and work of the "First Lady of Song," who died in 1996 at age 79 and would have turned 90 Wednesday, will be honored with a star-studded concert at USC's new Galen Center Sunday. The list of performers includes Natalie Cole, kd lang, Quincy Jones, Nancy Wilson, Cyndi Lauper and Wynonna Judd.

A surprise guest also is scheduled to appear, USC said in a news release Tuesday.

Fitzgerald, who won 13 Grammy awards and sold more than 40 million albums, gave one of her last performances -- a duet with Joe Williams -- at USC four years before she died.

Proceeds from the concert will support the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, USC said.

Organized by producers Phil Ramone and Gregg Field, the concert will be broadcast nationally on June 9 on PBS as part of the "Great Performances" series.

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