Ruth Brown was the first great female R&B star of the 1950s, one of the crucial figures in the transition between that music and early rock & roll. She began her career on Atlantic Records in that label's infancy, and did much to establish Atlantic as the premier R&B label. Brown chalked up hit after hit between 1949 and 1955. In the ensuing years, she collaborated with noted jazz musicians and even ventured into acting (in fact she won a Tony in 1989 for her work in the show BLACK AND BLUE). Brown was deservedly inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993, and remained active in performing and recording throughout that decade. She passed away in Las Vegas on November 17, 2006 at the age of 78.
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