Bessie Smith was an American blues singer widely renowned during the Jazz Age. Nicknamed the "Empress of the Blues", she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on fellow blues singers, as well as jazz vocalists. Born in Alabama, her parents died when she was young and the children scraped by doing street performing in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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