Lyric soprano who was one of the most well-known African American opera singers from the 1970s to the early 1990s.
She was working as a sixth grade music teacher when she earned her first major choir solo.
She won a 1992 Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Classical Music.
She grew up in Porstmouth, Ohio with six older siblings.
She joined Ella Fitzgerald as a member of the NAACP Hall of Fame in 1999.