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Lena Horne Quotes


Lena HorneLena Horne was born and bred in New York City and her career got off to a start as a dancer in the legendary New York Cotton Club in the neighbourhood of Harlem. It wasn't long until her singing talent was discovered and she was playing to packed audiences at the Cotton Club and other venues across New York. In the early 1940's Horne made her way to Hollywood and sang at the Little Troc club on Sunset Strip and soon after she signed a contract with MGM studios that would see her become the biggest earning black female actress of her era. It wasn't all sweetness and light though as her movie roles saw her isolated away from the other cast members so her scenes could easily be cut out for showing in cinemas in Americas southern states where they could not accept black actresses in anything other than subservient roles. Some of her more notable screen roles were in all black movies or musicals such as Stormy Weather in 1943 in which she sang the title song of the movie that was to become her trademark song in theatres for years to come. During WWII she made quite a stir when she refused to sing in front of segregated audiences, the army found a compromise by assembling audiences of white German POW's and black U.S. soldiers. Hornes frustration with racism in the entertainment industry saw her become a civil rights activist where she regularly joined peaceful marches and sang in civil rights concerts and festivals. She was a regular visitor to the Whitehouse during the JFK administration where she shared her views on racism and lynchings in the deep south. During her career Lena Horne was nominated 8 times for Grammy awards of which she won 4 of them including Best Cast Show Album and Best Female Vocal Pop Performance for her 1981 Broadway Musical show; Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. Her last recorded album called Being Myself was released in 1998 meaning her career spanned more than 70 years and her legacy as one of the finest singers of her generation was complete. Behind her silky smooth voice was a determined woman who would not allow racism get in the way of her career and she was well known for some great quotes and comments; So here is my compilation of twelve of the best Lena Horne quotes.
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Lena Mary Calhoun Horne
  • Born: 30th June 1917, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
  • Died: 9th May 2010, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
  • Occupation: Singer, dancer and actress
  • Genres: Jazz and pop
  • Instrument: Vocals
  • Famous for: Her signature song Stormy Weather
  • Trivia: She shared her birth date with another famous actress Susan Hayward who was born not just on the same day but also the same borough of New York; Brooklyn

"You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way"

Lena Horne

"My identity is very clear to me now, I am a black woman, I'm not alone, I'm free. I don't have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I'd become. I'm me, and I'm like nobody else"

Lena Horne

"Louis B. Mayer was the most clever, ruthless, smart character that you would never want to know"

Lena Horne

"In my early days I was a sepia Hedy Lamarr. Now I'm black and a woman, singing my own way"

Lena Horne

"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it"

Lena Horne

"A little nepotism never hurt nobody, honey. If you got it, use it. Press on with it. Remind them of it"

Lena Horne

"Always be smarter than the people who hire you"

Lena Horne

"Don't be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can"

Lena Horne

"I never considered myself a movie star. Mostly, I just sang songs in other people's movies"

Lena Horne

"I had this sort of greedy agent who made me go to Hollywood in the hope that I'd be in movies"

Lena Horne

"I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept. I was their daydream"

Lena Horne

"I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked"

Lena Horne

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