Lena Horne – The Sultry Singer, Actress, & Civil Rights Activist, Dies

As a child, she had wanted to be a schoolteacher, and onstage or in the talk-show-guest chair, that's what she so superbly was: the professor and the lesson, an inspiring example of outliving prejudice, turning stormy weather into blue skies and beauty into truth. She was 92 when she passed away. Photo: Carol Friedman / Corbis

Lena Horne, who broke new ground for black performers when she signed a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer, died Sunday, May 9, 2010, in Manhattan.

Renowned for her beauty and sultry voice, Horne battled racism to become Hollywood’s first black sex symbol. In 1943, she played Selina Rogers in the all-black film musical “Stormy Weather”, the title song of which was to be a major hit and her signature tune. Her career spanned more than 60 years. Later she embraced activism and became a voice for civil rights in the US. She was 92.

Source: NYT

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