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Sissieretta Jones
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Vocalist
    (January 5, 1868-June 24, 1933)
    Born in Portsmouth, Virginia
    Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones
    World famous Mezzo Soprano
    Trained at the New England Conservatory of Music
    Made her New York debut at Steinway Hall, in 1888
    First performed at the White House, in February 1892, for President Benjamin Harrison
    Toured the United States, the West Indies, South America, Australia, India, Europe, and southern Africa
    Signature songs included 'My Old Kentucky Home,' 'Swanee River,' 'Ave Maria,' and 'Sempre Libera'
    She married at the age of 14.
    She filed for divorce fifteen years later, citing his drunkenness, gambling, and misuse of funds.
    She was billed as 'the greatest singer of her race' and 'the Black Patti.'
    The 'Black Patti' moniker came after she was compared to Italian prima donna Adelina Patti.
    She capitalized on the 'Patti' title, and later formed the Black Patti’s Troubadours, taking advantage of the popularity of black musical comedies (at the time called 'coon shows').
    She was known for her outlandish gowns and large broaches/medals (which she wore to every recital like a brigadier general).
    She was the daughter of a Baptist minister.
    She actively took in homeless children, and later adopted two of her own.
    She sang in concert for the British Royal family.
    She performed at the White House for four consecutive Presidents.
    She was equally adept at singing grand opera, popular music, and light opera.
    By 1895 she had become the most well known and highly paid African American performer of her day.
    She retired from performing to take care of her ailing mother (and as a result died nearly penniless decades later after).
    She was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame (2013).
    She became the first African American to sing at the Music Hall in New York (later known as Carnegie Hall).
    She still encountered prejudice despite her success; for example the Metropolitan Opera in New York denied her a leading role on the grounds of her race (Marian Anderson would break the color barrier by performing there 22 years after her death, in 1955).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 5 Votes: 60.0% Annoying
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