Lena Horne in Til the Clouds Roll By

The world lost a renowned actress, singer, and activist when Lena Horne passed away Sunday, at the age of 92 years old.  Her life was lived in the entertainment industry, where she not only touched the hearts of many with her talents, she was also a huge role model and spokesperson for up and comers of different races and backgrounds.

Lena Horne began her career at the age of sixteen as a night club singer at The Cotton Club, before moving to Hollywood to pursue a career in film.   Some of her most noteworthy performances were in Stormy Weather and Cabin in the SkyLena Horne was blacklisted as a result of the Red Scare and was unable to work for years in Hollywood.

Horne continued to perform in nightclubs and in smaller venues, before taking on a one woman show called Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway.    The Lady and Her Music still holds the record for longest running solo show on Broadway.

Just as noteworthy as her work as an artist and entertainer is the work that Lena Horne did as a civil rights activist.  She was the first African American woman to be signed to a major Hollywood studio before being blacklisted, and she performed and walked in the March on Washington in 1963.

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