Profile America -- Thursday, April 7th. Five of the top vocalists in jazz history -- all African-American women -- were born in April. Today marks the birthday of Billie Holiday, nicknamed "Lady Day," who some critics hail as the greatest jazz singer ever recorded. Influential early blues singers Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith also have April birthdays, as does jazz notable Carmen McRae. And April is the birth month of Ella Fitzgerald, whose career spanned more than 50 years and whose talent made her an international star. In the U.S. today, 168,000 people make their living as professional musicians and singers. Close to 32 percent of them are women and just over 12 percent are African-American. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2011, p.
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2011, t. 615
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