The legendary singer Lena Horne sadly passed away today, she was 92. Horne who joined the Cotton Club at the tender age of 16, was allowed to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them. Rising to Broadway superstar status, she was loved for her exotic good looks and sultry voice.
Horne credited her crossover success to her movie star looks. She said, “I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept,” she once said. “I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked.”
Her first marriage to Louis Jones, ended in divorce, after having two children. In 1947, she married MGM music director Lennie Hayton, who was white. In the 2009 biography “Stormy Weather,” author James Gavin recounts that when Horne was asked by a lover why she’d married a white man, she replied: “To get even with him.”
In 1971, she lost her father, son and husband in a two year period and went into an emotional tail spin. Overcome with grief, friends and family thought she would never perform again. Over time, she was persuaded back to the stage and with the support of loved ones she was able to cope with the loss.
In 2003, ABC announced that Janet Jackson would star as Horne in a television biopic. After her Superbowl “wardrobe malfunction,” Horne and her daughter Gail demanded that she be dropped from the project. ABC refused, so Horne approached Jackson directly, who bowed out graciously.
In 2005, Oprah stated to Alicia Keys during an interview on that she might possibly consider producing the biopic herself, casting Keys as Horne. Keys who is a dead ringer for Lena Horne is still expected to star in the role.
Lena Horne, born under the zodiac sign of Cancer, was an emotional and passionate woman. She always put family first and was a deeply sensitive soul. A private funeral service is expected to be held next weekend. Thoughts and prayers go out to her family. What an amazing and beautiful artist she was. Rest in peace Lena…