The Incomparable Lena Horne

By Gary Johnson

Lena Horne had beauty, talent, grace and courage.  The word “iconic” seems like a slight when it comes to describe her enormous impact on the entertainment industry. Lena Horne conquered movies, television, recordings and Broadway.  Lena Horne was great because of how she stood and what she stood for.  She lasted so long.  She was truly a treasure.

Horne, whose career spanned more than 60 years, died Sunday, May 9, 2010, of heart failure at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley. She was 92.

As a singer, I rank Lena Horne with such greats as Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Billie Holiday an Ella Fitzgerald. Horne continued to perform in her 80’s before living the quiet life with her family.

From what I could gather, Lena Horne had a fierce individualism that led to her re-defining the roles and images for blacks in films.  Lena Horne was a strong woman with dignity and it came through in her films, television appearances and in her music.

Watch Lena Horne sing two of her most popular songs, “Stormy Weather,” and “If You Believe.”

I’ve read many obituaries today about Lena Horne and the Los Angeles Times stands out as one of the best.  Click here to read it.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) announced its prime time lineup on Friday, May 21, will pay tribute to Lena Horne.

4 Responses to “The Incomparable Lena Horne”

  1. Ron Court Says:

    Oh, Man, I miss her already…

  2. Lena Horne is one of my favorite female singer.

  3. You are so right when you say “The Incomparable Lena Horne”
    Blessings to her and her family.

    A tribute to Lena Horne and her ancestors

    And an hourglass chart from the Family Forest National Treasure so you may view some of her family ties.

  4. The best tribute to an icon is to play your favorite song of theirs and rememember what that song meant to you. ‘Miss Lena’ will be missed because she stood by her people…unlike the modern Black artists of today.

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