Born as Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924
December 14, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan due to accidental prescription drug overdose.
Dinah grew up amidst the sound of church choirs and gospel music. Thus, it is no wonder that at an early age she developed an interest on the piano and a love of singing. She was also influenced by the blues singer Billie Holiday. During her teens, she decided to try her luck and began performing at nightclubs where she was eventually discovered by Joe Glaser. Glaser referred her to Lionel Hampton who hired her as vocalist for his band. Dinah performed with Hampton's band from 1943 to 1946. She made her recording debut under Keynote Records in 1943.
Rise to Fame:
When Dinah decided to go solo and left Hampton's band in 1946, she had already attracted a loyal following. She recorded several songs under the Apollo label before signing on to Mercury. Under the Mercury label, Dinah recorded a string of songs in various genres including blues, jazz and pop. Many of her songs became top 10 hits; she also collaborated with other artists and bands, most notably with Clifford Brown, Cannonball Adderley and duets with Brook Benton. In 1959, the success of her song "What a Diff'rence A Day Makes" (won a Grammy) marked her shift from blues and jazz music to ballads.
Her songs include: "Evil Gal Blues," ‘Salty Papa Blues,’ "Cold, Cold Heart," "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes," “Baby Get Lost," "Trouble in Mind," “This Bitter Earth," "Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)" and “A Rockin’ Good Way."
- Dinah is also referred to as "The Queen of the Blues."
- She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
- She was married 7 times and has 2 sons. Her first husband was John Young.
- The origin of her stage name remains unclear. Some say it was given to her by talent manager Joe Glaser, others say it was Lionel Hampton.
There's a video of Dinah Washington singing "I Don't Hurt" from Youtube.