The Queen of the Blues who was a vaudeville actress, singer, and was the first African American singer to record blues music.
She was more of a dancer than a singer early in her life before recording "Crazy Blues" for Okeh Records as an experiment.
Her song "Crazy Blues" was an enormous success almost overnight, with 10,000 copies sold within the first week, and 75,000 by the first month.
She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She married William Smith in 1913.
She discovered the sixteen year old Coleman Hawkins on one of her tours and got him to join her act, billing him as "Saxophone Boy."