orig. Harry Lillis Crosby
(born May 3, 1903, Tacoma, Wash., U.S.—died Oct. 14, 1977, near Madrid, Spain) U.S. singer and actor. Crosby began to sing and play drums while studying law in Spokane, Wash. As a singer with the Paul Whiteman orchestra in 1927, he exhibited a mellow “crooning” style and casual stage manner that proved highly popular. He appeared in the early sound film King of Jazz
(1931), and he later had his own radio program. By the late 1930s his records had sold millions of copies. His recordings of “White Christmas” and “Silent Night” were among the most popular songs of the 20th century. In the 1940s he starred in a popular radio variety show. His film career included the seven Road comedies with Bob Hope
and Dorothy Lamour, beginning with The Road to Singapore
(1940); Going My Way
(1944, Academy Award); The Bells of St. Mary's
(1945); and White Christmas
(1954). More than 300 million of his records have been sold, a total surpassed only by Elvis Presley
among solo artists.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.