This legendary jazz vocalist and be-bop singer was born Lillie Mae Jones in Flint, Michigan, on May 16, 1930. She studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory of Music, and as a teenager she was sitting in with Charlie Parker and other be-bop musicians when they performed in Detroit. She turned professional at age 16, and joined the Lionel Hampton band in 1948, billed as Lorraine Carter. Hampton created her nickname 'Betty Be-Bop' and she later changed her stage name to Betty Carter. In later years she toured with Miles Davis, and on his recommendation toured with Ray Charles in the late 1950s. They recorded "Ray Charles and Betty Carter", which was a hit. She founded her own company "Bet-Car" in 1971, which became the sole source of her recordings for many years until signing with Verve in 1988. She died from pancreatic cancer on September 26, 1998.
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Last update:September 23, 2016 at 18:05:05 UTC