Fitzgerald, Ella

Fitzgerald, Ella

Fitzgerald, Ella, 1917-96, American jazz singer, b. Newport News, Va. Probably the most celebrated jazz vocalist of her generation, Fitzgerald was reared in Yonkers, N.Y., moving after her mother's death (1932) to Harlem, where two years later she won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater. Thereafter she performed with Chick Webb's band. After he died in 1939 she managed the band herself until 1942, when she began to make solo appearances in supper clubs and theaters. Principally a jazz and blues singer of remarkably sweet and effortless style, Fitzgerald was noted for her sophisticated interpretation of songs by George Gershwin and Cole Porter and for her scat singing, an extremely inventive form of vocal jazz improvisation.

Fitzgerald, whose superb voice, wide repertoire, and accessible singing style appealed to both jazz and pop audiences, scored her first recording hit with "A-Tisket A-Tasket" (1938) and went on to become a perennially popular artist with such performances as the million-selling "I'm Making Believe" (1944, with the Ink Spots), the historic scat "Flying Home" (1945), the be-bop "Lady Be Good" (1947), and many hundreds more. She also wrote a number of songs and made numerous concert tours of the United States, Europe, and Asia. She appeared in several films, including Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) and St. Louis Blues (1958). Despite ill health, Fitzgerald continued performing into the early 1990s.

See biography by S. Nicholson (1994); C. Zwerin, dir., Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For (documentary film, 1999).

Peers of Ireland

The FitzGeralds are a Hiberno-Norman dynasty, and have been Peers of Ireland since at least the 13th century. The name is from the Norman language meaning 'the son of Gerald', with a cognate "fils", meaning 'son', in modern French. The main branches of the family are the FitzGeralds of Kildare (Earls of Kildare, later Marquesses of Kildare and now Dukes of Leinster and Premier Peers of Ireland) and the FitzGeralds of Desmond (Barons Desmond, later Earls of Desmond); see the articles on those titles for lists of people who have held them. The dynasty is also sometimes referred to as the Geraldines, and the name Geraldine can be a derivation of this adjective. Elizabeth FitzGerald (1527-89) was known as the "Fair Geraldine" from her surname. The most famous members of the dynasty include:

Other people

The surname FitzGerald is a translation of the Norman fils de Gérald, or son of Gerald (Gerald meaning "rule of the spear"). Variant spellings include Fitz-Gerald and the modern Fitzgerald. The name can also be used as two separate words Fitz Gerald

Those with the surname (except for those holding peerages, for which see above) include:

See also

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