ella fitzgerald, apollo theater, amateur
Legendary Jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald entered Apollo’s amateur night competition after loosing a game with two friends — that decision led to Fitzgerald being coined the best jazz vocalist of the century.
“There I was, nervous as can be, only 15 years old with the skinniest legs you’ve ever seen — and I froze; got cold feet. The man in charge said that I had better do something up there, so I said I wanted to sing instead. The audience was laughing,” Fitzgerald recalled prior to her death in 1996.
Three encores after the first laugh, Fitzgerald won amateur night.
She was later dubbed the “First Lady of Song”.