The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Dinah Washington

Induction category: Early Influence


Dinah Washington skirted the boundaries of blues, jazz and popular music, becoming the most popular black female recording artist of the Fifties. Dinah Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She grew up on Chicago’s Southside, raised by a devoutly religious mother who sang in church and taught piano. Washington learned how to play piano at an early age and became a powerful gospel singer. She and her mother became popular attractions at local churches. Eventually, Washington was drawn to more secular music, and, when she was 15, she entered a talent contest at ...

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Dinah Washington Highlights


Rock Hall's Essential Songs

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