R.I.P. Jazz Singer Lena Horne


Her “Stormy Weather” is on the short list of truly great music performances ever captured on film, and her career had everything to do with the success of pretty much every African-American actor, actress, and singer that followed her. Horne was “the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio,” according to the New York Times, and was later blacklisted after protesting the way the military treated black soldiers in the ’40s and ’50s. So she made lovely records instead, until she was eventually welcomed back to both screen and stage, where she had audiences any time she wanted them, right up until her death yesterday, at 92, in New York City. An admirable life. [NYT]