Washington, Dinah (b. Ruth Jones)(1924–63) jazz vocalist; born in Tuscaloosa, Ala. An original stylist rooted in gospel music, she began with the Sara Martin Singers and was featured with Lionel Hampton between 1943–46. Despite her turbulent personal life and premature death, she developed a successful solo career and was a pervasive influence on female soul and rock singers beginning in the 1950s.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.