- NAME: Count Basie
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Pianist
- BIRTH DATE: August 21, 1904
- DEATH DATE: April 26, 1984
- Did You Know?: In 1958, Count Basie became the first African-American male recipient of a Grammy Award.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Red Bank, New Jersey
- PLACE OF DEATH: Hollywood, Florida
- AKA: William Basie
- AKA: Count Basie
- Full Name: William James Basie
- AKA: William Allen Basie
Best Known For
One of jazz music's all-time greats, bandleader/pianist Count Basie was a primary shaper of the big-band sound that characterized mid-20th century popular music.
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During the 1960s and '70s, Basie recorded with luminaries like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson. Basie ultimately earned nine Grammy Awards over the course of his career,
but he made history when he won his first, in 1958, as the first African-American man to receive a Grammy. A few of his songs were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as well, including "April in Paris" and "Everyday I Have the Blues."
Basie suffered from health issues in his later years, and died from cancer in Hollywood, Florida, on April 26, 1984. He left the world an almost unparalleled legacy of musical greatness, having recorded or been affiliated with dozens upon dozens of albums during his lifetime.
More information on Basie's life can be found in the book Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie (1986), put together from conversations had with Albert Murray.
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