Cleo Laine Obituary

Cleo Laine, the acclaimed British jazz singer and actress, has passed away. With her powerful voice and versatile range, Laine was a trailblazer in the music industry, paving the way for generations of female jazz singers.

Born on October 28, 1927, in Middlesex, England, Laine began her singing career in the 1950s, performing in London jazz clubs. She quickly made a name for herself, attracting the attention of jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra. In 1958, she released her debut album, “Cleo Laine Sings Shakespeare and All That Jazz,” which earned her critical acclaim.

Throughout her career, Laine collaborated with some of the most prominent jazz musicians of the day, including John Dankworth, with whom she formed a professional and personal partnership. The couple performed together for over 50 years, touring the world and releasing numerous albums. Laine was known for her ability to seamlessly blend jazz with other musical genres, including pop, rock, and classical.

In addition to her work in music, Laine also had a successful career as an actress, appearing in numerous films, television shows, and stage productions. She received a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1985 Broadway musical “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” and was also awarded the DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1997 for her services to music.

Laine was a passionate supporter of numerous charitable causes, including cancer research and the performing arts. She also served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme, promoting education and health initiatives in developing countries.

Laine is survived by her daughter, Jacqui, and son, Alec. Her legacy as a singer, actress, and philanthropist will continue to inspire future generations of artists and activists alike.