Opera soprano who headlined works in the Apollo theater, entertained the initial woman Eleanor Roosevelt, and originated the part of Serena in Porgy and Bess. Her 1st public performances occurred when she was four, performing at an area church. Not limited by just stage shows, she starred on-screen along with Bing Crosby in Delivery of the Blues and with Paul Robeson in the film The Emperor Jones. She was created in Pontotoc, Mississippi and elevated by her mom and grandmother after her dad abandoned the family members. George Gershwin himself asked her to sing the part of Serena in his Broadway masterpiece.