Ethel Waters Biography

Film Actress, Theater Actress, Singer, Actress, Television Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress (c. 1896–1977)
Ethel Waters was a blues and jazz singer and dramatic actress whose singing, based in the blues tradition, featured her full-bodied voice and slow vibrato.


At 17, Ethel Waters sang professionally in Baltimore. It was there that she became the first woman to sing “St. Louis Blues” on the stage. In 1925 she appeared at the Plantation Club in Harlem, and her performance there led to Broadway. In 1927 she appeared in an all-black revue Africana. Thereafter she divided her time between the stage, nightclubs, and eventually movies.


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