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Carter, Betty (1929–1998)

Carter, Betty (1929–1998)

African-American jazz singer. Name variations: Lorene Carter; Lorraine Carter. Born Lillie Mae Jones, May 16, 1929, in Flint, Michigan; died in Brooklyn, NY, Sept 26, 1998; grew up in Detroit; studied piano at Detroit Conservatory; married.

Regarded as one of the few true jazz singers, went professional (1946), using stage name Lorene Carter; while still a teenager, sang with Charlie Parker; toured with Lionel Hampton (1948–51), and Miles Davis (1958–59), as Betty Be-Bop Carter; made an album with Ray Charles (1961) on ABC Paramount label (their duet "Baby, It's Cold Outside," became a jazz classic); toured with Charles in Japan, France and UK (1963–68); started her own company, Bet-Car Records and Lil-Jay Productions, making albums that are now collector's items; had her own trio (1975–80), winning acclaim at Newport Jazz festivals and at Carnegie Hall (1977–78); released Look What I Got! (Polygram/Verve) to rave reviews (1988). Presented with National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton (1997).

See also Women in World History.

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