Lena Horne (1917-2010) was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. She was the first African-American woman to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio and the first African-American to win a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Horne's best-known albums include Stormy Weather (1956) and Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music (1981). Stormy Weather includes her signature song of the same name, which reached #2 on the Billboard R&B charts. The Lady and Her Music earned Horne a Tony Award for Best Actress and won her a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.
Horne was also known for her activism. She was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and she worked with the NAACP to promote racial equality. She was also the first African-American to perform at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City and the first African-American to appear on the cover of Life magazine.
An interesting fact about Lena Horne is that she was actually born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Florida by her grandparents. She moved back to New York at the age of 16 and began her career in show business.