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Jazz Singer Abbey Lincoln Dies at Age 80

Famous jazz singer and songwriter Abbey Lincoln died Saturday in New York at age 80. Lincoln has always been known for her phrasing, emotion and uncompromising style.


Lincoln had been declining in health for the past year. Her death was confirmed by friend and filmmaker Carol Friedman. Friedman has been working on a documentary on Lincoln's life.


Lincoln made records and acted in films in the 1950s and 1960s. It was in the 1990s that she saw her career surge again and  found new voice as a songwriter.


Over her long career, Lincoln acted with Sidney Poitier and collaborated in music with the drummer Max Roach. She married Roach in 1962, but the two were divorced by 1970.


Lincoln had chart-topping albums with "You Gotta Pay the Band," which she recorded with Stan Getz, and "Devil's Got Your Tongue," in which she brought in rappers, comics and filmmakers for profiting from the denigration of black culture.


But it wasn’t just her voice that made Lincoln shine through her career – but her beauty as well. On her early album covers, she is featured her in slinky dresses, and she appeared in a Jayne Mansfield movie wearing the dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."


Lincoln was born in 1930 in Anna Marie Wooldridge. She was the daughter of a handyman and grew up with 11 brothers and sisters in rural Calvin Center, Mich. She discovered music early, teaching herself piano and singing in music and school.


 

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