Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an American singer, actress and dancer.
Horne joined the mike chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to
Hollywood where she had small parts in numerous movies, and more substantial parts in the films Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. Due to the Red Scare and her progressive political views, Horne found herself blacklisted and unable to get work in Hollywood.
Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963, and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs as well as television, and releasing well received albums.
Horne announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway, and earned her numerous awards and accolades, and she would continue recording and performing sporadically into the 1990’s.