Ella Fiztzeral (1917-1996)
Winner of 14 Grammy Awards, along with Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, she is the most important singer in the history of jazz. Her childhood was dramatic, marked by poverty, her father’s abandonment and her mother’s death. She still enjoyed dancing, playing the piano and singing in a school choir.
Ella ended up running away from home, school, reform school and even a hospice. What she didn’t escape from was listening to the radio recordings of Louis Armstrong and the Boswell Sisters.
When she was 17, she won a singing contest at the Apollo Theater in New York. Ella sang a version of a song in the style of one of the Boswell sisters, whom she admired so much.
Bruce Willis (1955)
Did you know that Bruce started the theatre to overcome his stuttering? It was during his adolescence, after his parents separated. In his own words:
“I could hardly speak. I needed three minutes to complete one sentence. It was overwhelming for someone who wanted to express himself to others, and who wanted to be heard, but simply couldn’t. It was awful.
It wasn’t until I took on the role of a character in a play that I lost my babble. It was phenomenal” .
In 1987, he began as a musician recording a pop-blues album, ‘The Return of Bruno’, which included the hit ‘Respect Yourself’. In 1989 he released his second soul music album.
The critics have praised Bruce‘s bluesy voice, and his excellent command of the harmonica.