Sat Oct 22, 2005 7:29 pm
WASHINGTON (Billboard) - Shirley Horn, the Grammy-winning jazz vocalist and pianist known for her intimate, whispery vocals and top-drawer piano playing, died Thursday (October 20) at Gladys Spellman Nursing Home in Cheverly, Md., after an extended battle with diabetes. She was 71.
Always respected critically, Horn became an unlikely star in her 60s with a series of luminous albums for Verve Records throughout the 1990s. Horn, who accompanied herself at the piano and possessed a trademark vocal style, became a major influence on younger jazz singer/pianists such as Diana Krall and Norah Jones.
Horn was nominated for nine Grammys in the last decade. She won the best jazz vocal performance award in 1998 for her album "I Remember Miles," dedicated to her good friend and mentor Miles Davis.
On several of her Verve albums, she worked with top arranger Johnny Mandel. On others she augmented her trio with guest artists like Davis, Wynton and Bradford Marsalis, Gary Bartz and Toots Thielmanns.