(April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996)
Ella Fitzgerald known by her fans as "The Queen of Jazz", "Lady Ella" and the "First Lady of Song", is by far my most favorite singer of all time. A complete singer who is the singer's singer, having a vocal range that spans more than three octaves. The following quote sums it up nearly perfectly for me as to how I view this vocal great.
Author and music critic Will Friedwald noted;
"Unlike any other singer you could name, Fitzgerald has the most amazing asset in the very sound of her voice: it's easily one of the most beautiful and sonically perfect sounds known to man. Even if she couldn't do anything with it, the instrument that Fitzgerald starts with is dulcet and pure and breathtakingly beautiful. As Henry Pleasants has observed, she has a wider range than most opera singers, and many of the latter, including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, are among her biggest fans. And the intonation that goes with the voice is, to put it conservatively, God-like. Fitzgerald simply exists in tune, and she hits every note that there is without the slightest trace of effort. Other singers tend to sound like they're trying to reach up to a note - Fitzgerald always sounds like she's already there. If anything, she's descending from her heavenly perch and swooping down to whatever pitch she wants."