Manage episode 332994537 series 2885711
BlackFacts.com presents the black fact of the day for June 30.
Lena Horne was born.
She was an African-American dancer, actress, Grammy-winning singer, and civil rights activist.
Horne left school at age 16 to help support her ailing mother and became a dancer at the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City. She was discovered by producer John Hammond, and soon after she performed in a solo show at Carnegie Hall.
A remarkably charismatic entertainer, Horne was one of the most popular singers of her time. One of her albums, Lena Horne at the Waldorf-Astoria, was a longtime best seller, and her first featured performance on Broadway.
She also was noted for her work with civil rights and political organizations; as an actress, she refused to play roles that stereotyped African American women.
In 1984 Horne received a Kennedy Center honor for lifetime contribution to the arts, and in 1989 she was given a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement.
"Stormy Weather", a well-received biography of Horne's life, was published in 2009 and written by James Gavin. Horne also published her own memoir, "Lena", in 1965.
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