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Billy Eckstine

Billy Eckstine (1914 1993) was an American jazz singer who also played trumpet, valve trombone, and guitar. After singing with the Earl Hines band from 1939 to 1943 he led his own band from 1944 to 1947. The band included at various times a large number of rising jazz stars, including Gene Ammons, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Fats Navarro, Lucky Thompson, Lena Horne, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan. Eckstine later formed an octet, then went solo, becoming a popular ballad singer while remaining an important figure in jazz.