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Lena Horne: 'Believe in yourself as I believe in you'

May 10, 2010 |  8:59 am

"Sometimes you have to wait 50 years … sometimes it comes in a year," Lena Horne said about success as she accepted a special Tony Award in 1981. "I'm just so happy that I'm getting all these flowers before I lose my teeth."

Lena Horne

Then Lena Horne belted out a roof-rattling rendition of her anthem from "The Wiz" -- "If You Believe" -- that was part of her Broadway smash hit "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music" that ran at the Nederlander Theatre from May 1981 to June 30, 1982, then toured.

When "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music" appeared on TV as part of the PBS series "Great Performances," it was nominated for best variety program at the Emmys, losing to "Motown Returns to the Apollo."

At the Grammys, the recording of "The Lady and Her Music: Live on Broadway" won two prizes, including best cast show album and best female pop vocal performance. Fourteen years later she won another Grammy -- for best jazz vocal performance ("An Evening with Lena Horne"). She also won Grammy's lifetime achievement award.

Below, her appearance at the 1981 Tonys. She died Sunday at age 92.

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Photo credit: Qwest Records

The comments to this entry are closed.


I am glad to inform you that Helena Bonham Carter's movie on Enid Blyton coincided with my publication on the writer, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (
Stephen Isabirye

She was one of the classiest soulful and beautifully brave singing ladies of all time, I believe.

What a woman! What a career. Think about it: She starred in a film with Fats Waller. He's been dead since 1943 - almost seventy years! She was given the gift of time that was denied to Fats. We're lucky we had he for so long. The lady left a mark that won't be fading any time soon.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the likes of Lena Horne to pass this way again. T'ain't gonna happen, baby!

Tom Degan
Goshen, Ny

She is my all-time favorite singer and actress, and I especially loved her in The Wiz. It may have been a small part, but she made it big. I called her a lady. so to Lady Lena Horne, thank God for your talents, your spunk, and your zil on life itself. You truly believed in yourself as we believed in you. May the angels rejoice as you enter into heaven. We will miss you.

Will be missed extremely beautiful women great entertainer.

Lena's appearance at the Tony awards in '81 was one of the great moments in showbiz!!!

This is a sad day. Lena Horne was a 'presence" that I knew could and would NEVER EVER leave us. now



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