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Dinah Jones: The Queen of Blues

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Dinah Washington was born as Ruth Jones, in the little town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She grew up in Chicago, where she learned to play the piano and became the director of her church choir. Her interest in music was always remarkable, which is why her musical career was always active. She studied music at DuSable High School, and soon started performing in clubs under her artistic name and kept on singing at church as Ruth Jones.

Once she started singing, she enchanted every person who was present: her penetrating voice, her excellent timing and her crystal-clear enunciation became the most important part of her exclusive and distinctive style. She was amazing recording either jazz or blues or R&B, she could adapt every single note to the best of her voice. She always separated the secular from the spiritual, and once she started singing non-religious music, she refused to sing gospel.

Dinah began recording in 1943 and ever since, she had many hit songs on the R&B charts.  In 1959, she won a Grammy Award for Best Blues Performance with the song “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes”, turning this single into the biggest hit in Dinah Washington’s career. She had a short and turbulent life which included seven husbands, six divorces and many lovers (Quincy Jones among them). She died at age 39, in 1963 due to an overdose of diet pills.

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