b. 1917 -Â Lena Home is known and loved not only for her musical and dramatic talents but also for her continual interest in and support of many humane causes. She started in show business with the chorus line at the Cotton Club in 1933. From there she toured with Noble Sissle’s orchestra, and she later joined Charlie Barnett’s band, with which she made her first records.
In the early 1940s Home went to Hollywood, where she became the first black woman to sign a term contract in film. Her films include Panama Hattie (1942), Cabin in the Sky (1943), and Stormy Weather (1943).Â
Her most popular recordings include “Stormy Weather,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and “Mad About the Boy.” In 1981 Home opened a one-woman show on Broadway called Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, for which she received a Tony Award.