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Cleo Laine
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    (October 28, 1927- )
    Born in Southall, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Clementina Dinah Campbell
    Jazz singer and actress
    Recorded the albums 'Meet Cleo Laine' (1957), 'Spotlight on Cleo' (1961), 'Shakespeare and All That Jazz' (1964), 'The Unbelievable Miss Cleo Laine' (1969), 'I Am A Song' (1973), 'Porgy & Bess' (with Ray Charles, 1976), 'Best Friends' (with John Williams, 1976), 'Sometimes When We Touch' (with James Galway, 1980), 'Smilin' Through' (with Dudley Moore, 1982), 'Cleo at Carnegie: The 10th Anniversary Concert' (1985), 'Woman to Woman' (1989), 'Solitude' (1995) and 'Quality Time' (2002)
    Appeared on Broadway in 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' (1985)
    Appeared on the London stage in 'Valmouth' (1959), 'A Time to Laugh' (1962), 'Show Boat' (1971) and 'Colette' (1980)
    Named a Dame Commander of the British Empire (1987)
    Before becoming a professional singer, she worked as an assistant hairdresser, a librarian and a pawnshop clerk.
    She claimed, 'When I hear myself, I don't like it.... What comes out is mellow and soft, yet what I want to try to achieve is an edge in my voice.'
    She announced the death of her husband of 51 years, bandleader John Dankworth, at a concert before the last number. (That may be taking the whole 'the show must go on' philosophy a little too far.)
    She has a multi-octave vocal range.
    When she made her New York City debut (1972), the New York Times declared, 'The British have been hiding one of their national treasures.'
    When she won her first Grammy in 1986, Ella Fitzgerald sent a dozen roses and the note, 'Congratulations, gal -- It's about time!'
    She is the first female singer to be nominated for Grammys in the pop, jazz and classical fields.
    After giving a series of concerts to mark her 80th birthday, she said, 'I don't think about being 80. What would be the point? I'm limping a bit because they've given me a new knee, but that's about the only difference.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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