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Overview for Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee

Peggy Lee



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Also Known As: Died: January 21, 2002
Born: May 26, 1920 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Jamestown, North Dakota, USA Profession: Music ...


There is an "Official Peggy Lee Web Site" at

Throughout her life, Lee has had more than her share of health troubles. She was diagnosed as diabetic, was stricken with double pneumonia in 1961, had a thyroid condition that threatened to compress her vocal cords which was alleviated by surgery, suffered a near-fatal fall from a hotel in 1976 that left her temporarily blind, unable to stand and partially deaf, underwent heart surgery in 1985, was severely injured in a fall in Las Vegas in 1987 and suffered a stroke in 1998.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.

In 1949, when she made a guest appearance on an album recorded by Mel Torme, Miss Lee used the pseudonym "Susan Melton".

"If you don't feel a thrill when Peggy sings, you are dead, Jack." --quote attributed to jazz historian Leonard Feather.

"I always sing softly - but I had to, because I started singing in noisy nightclubs. And I found the only way to keep the audience quiet was to lower my own voice." --Peggy Lee quoted in The New York World Telegram, December 27, 1952.

"Peggy is one of those rare performers who can handle silence. She has amazing control. Also, she's somebody who likes herself - in other words, she likes what she does, and the audience gives her respect." --Abe Burrows, who directed "Revlon Presents: 76 Men and Peggy Lee", quoted in Newsweek, March 21, 1960.

"I work harder now than I've ever done in my life, because I'm the boss. I pay for anything and I'm responsible. When I was with Benny Goodman I traveled a lot, doing one-night stands. I was my own hairdresser and wardrobe mistress, and I just can't think how I got through it. I'm asked a lot about durability, about why there are so few big women singers. But I don't really know the answer. I often wonder about it. I suppose it takes a lot of strength. You have to be strong." --Peggy Lee to the London Times, June 21, 1970.

"I don't know that I honestly regret anything. I know I've made a lot of mistakes, but I think, given the same set of circumstances, I'd make the very same mistakes again." --Peggy Lee quoted in the Los Angeles Times, December 31, 1981.

"She's simply the greatest white blues singer ever." --Robert Drivas who staged her one-woman Broadway show, quoted in People, January 9, 1984.

On her stepmother, Lee told People (January 9, 1984): "She poured boiling water on my hands when I did dishes and used the metal end of a razor strap for beatings.

"I've often wondered why so many great singers had so much grief and pain in their lives. I understand now that it's because the soul needs to be pressed down, tested in some way, to promote growth."

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