Lena Horne - the epitome of beauty, style, grace and good-old sex-appeal! She lived to a well-deserved age of 92 and during her time of this planet, graced us with her incredible persona and voice, and forged the way for many black artists and performers.
Lena's stunning breakthrough and on to the silver screen began in 1943 when she performed in an all-black production of "Stormy Weather" - the title song became her signature for the rest of her life.
By the 1950s and having a series of movies under her belt, Lena became disenchanted with Hollywood, including as a result of its treatment of blacks and its relatively open admission that her measure of success a a black performer related to her very fair skin. She focussed on her nighclub career and experiences much success headlining for influential establishment across the world, literally.
Lena was much more than skin deep. Throughout her life, she remained an active voice in the Civil Rights Movement and later, in championing the rights of blacks in general. During WW II, the US Army would not permit her to entertain integrated audiences of black and white American soldiers. She refused to accept segregated audiences and ended up performing for a mixed group of Black American servicemen and white German POWs.
Lena had a marvellous sense of humour: she played herself on Sanford and Son, Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. She also appeared on The Cosby Show and A Different World.
A stunning, classy woman throughout her life...One of my style icons and role models....
Have fun up there, Lena!