Find out from this article more about jazz vocalist and singer Adelaide Hall, the age she died, and what age she is today.
Who is Adelaide Hall?
Adelaide Hall, a 1901 Brooklyn, New York, native, was a jazz vocalist who sang on the spot. A prominent member of the Harlem Renaissance, the performer came to London for the first time in 1931 as “The Crooning Blackbird,” her stage name at the Palladium.
In 1935, she moved to Paris with her mother and husband after experiencing racist abuse in their predominantly white neighbourhood. This marked the official start of her European career. “La Grosse Pomme,” which translates to “The Big Apple” in French, is the name of the nightclub that her husband Bert would open there. She’s credited here with introducing Parisians to the truckin’ dance fad, which originated in Harlem in the 1930s.
She appeared at Berlin’s Rex Theatre and performed jazz music at Berlin’s Rex Theatre during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin Hall. Her refusal to comply with Adolf Hitler’s prohibition against the playing of jazz music made this an extraordinary time. She relocated to London in 1938 in order to live there permanently.
She would later play the lead in the musical adaptation of “The Sun Never Sets” on stage at the renowned Theatre Royal on Drury Lane. As the first black artist to hold a long-term contract with the BBC, Hall also produced a BBC Radio series called “Wrapped in Velvet” while she was living in London. She swiftly rose to the top of the British entertainment industry due to her expanding popularity.
She joined the uniformed entertainment corps and began touring Europe in the last years of the war. In 1951, Hall became the first black female performer to ever feature in the Royal Variety show.
Following her passing in 1993, well-known broadcaster Michael Parkinson said, “Adelaide lived to be ninety-two and never grew old.” The Evening Standard listed her as one of 14 historically significant black British women this year.
Career of Adelaide Hall
In 1928, Hall starred on Broadway with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Tim Moore, and Aida Ward in Blackbirds of 1928. The show became the most successful all-black show ever staged on Broadway at that time and made Hall and Bojangles household names. Blackbirds of 1928 was the idea of impresario Lew Leslie, who planned to build the show around Florence Mills in New York after her success in the hit London show Blackbirds but Mills died of pneumonia in 1927 before rehearsals commenced.
Hall was chosen to replace her. The revue opened at Les Ambassadors Club in New York in January 1928, under the name Blackbird Revue, but it was renamed Blackbirds of 1928 and in May 1928 transferred to Broadway’s Liberty Theatre, where it ran for 518 performances. After a slow start, the show became the hit of the season. Hall’s performance of “Diga Diga Do”, created a sensation.
Her mother was so incensed when she went to see the show by her daughter performing what she termed ‘risqué dance moves’, she tried to stop the show during Hall’s performance and banned her from appearing in any future performances. The ban only remained for one performance, and Hall returned triumphantly to her role the following day.
It was reported in the press of the day that the show’s producer Lew Leslie was so concerned about race violence connected with the controversy surrounding Hall’s performance that he took out a hefty insurance policy to cover the cast; the most heavily insured were the principals, Hall and “Bojangles” Robinson.
How old was Adelaide Hall before she died?
Adelaide Hall was born on October 20, 1901 and died on November 7th, 1993; hence, she was 92 years before her demise.
How old is she today?
Adelaide Hall would have been 122 years today if she was still alive.