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The Independent Culture
Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For (8pm Artsworld)

This film profiles the woman widely acknowledged as the greatest-ever jazz singer, a consummate artist who was at the top of her game for six decades. Narrated by another singing legend, Tony Bennett, the film recalls that, in 1934, when Ella Fitzgerald (above) was just 16, she went to an amateur night at New York's Harlem Apollo Theatre intending to dance. However, once there, she got cold feet and went on stage to sing instead, and her mesmeric voice caught the attention of the bandleader Chick Webb. Even at that age, Fitzgerald possessed a rare ability to hold or bend a note, and her phrasing and interpretative skills were unique. Orphaned at the age of 15, she endured various care homes before opting to live on the streets. Twice divorced, the singer suffered from chronic diabetes, which cost her her sight and both legs.