Abbey Lincoln

*Jazz singer Abbey Lincoln, whose career spanned six decades and included acting, composing and participation in the U.S. civil rights movement, died of unknown causes on Saturday at age 80. Her death was first reportrd by the New York Times.

More info on Abbey Lincoln (via Wikipedia):

She was one of many singers influenced by Billie Holiday. She had a very long and productive career and continued to perform until the time of her death. She often could be found at the Blue Note in New York City.[1]

With Ivan Dixon, she co-starred in Nothing But a Man (1964), an independent film written and directed by Michael Roemer. She also co-starred with Sidney Poitier and Beau Bridges in 1968’s For Love of Ivy[2], and received a 1969 Golden Globe nomination for her appearance in the film.

Abbey Lincoln also appeared in the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It, for which she famously wore a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman Prefer Blondes and interpreted the theme song, working with Benny Carter.[2]

She sang on the 60’s landmark jazz civil rights recording, We Insist! – Freedom Now Suite (1960) by jazz musician Max Roach and was married to him from 1962 to 1970.[3] Especially since this album, Abbey Lincoln was connected to the political fight against racism in the United States.

She worked with other jazz musicians like Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, Coleman Hawkins, Jackie McLean, Clark Terry, Stanley Turrentine, Wynton Kelly, Cedar Walton, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Ron Carter, Miles Davis and made albums with Stan Getz, Mal Waldron and Archie Shepp.

In 1990 she played the role of young Bleek Gilliams’ mother in the Spike Lee movie Mo’ Better Blues[4] who was very insistent that Bleek, played as an adult by Denzel Washington, come inside their house and practice his trumpet instead of playing outside with his friends.

In 2003, she received the National Endowment for the Arts NEA Jazz Masters Award.

Lincoln died from unknown causes. For more, go HERE.