Mahalia Jackson


Photo credit: www.last.fm
  
"The Queen of Gospel"
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana
Mahalia Jackson was born in 1911.  She grew up in a shotgun home in New Orleans, shared with 13 people.  When her mother died in 1917, her Aunt Duke took her in to raise her, but economic circumstances forced Miss Jackson to quit school and work at home only when she was in the fourth grade. 
 
She was very influenced by the entertainment while growing up in New Orleans, but her roots were in the church.  At the age of 12 they say her voice could be heard all the way to the end of the block and Aunt Bell once told her she would be famous one day walking with queens and kings.

Miss Jackson's first taste of success was her song "Move Up a Little Higher" in 1947, which sold a million copies.  She became more in demand making radio and television appearances.  Miss Jackson had a successful tour in 1952, which resulted in popularity in France.  Not only was she touring, but she had her own gospel television show on CBS television network in 1954 and scored a  hit run with "Rusty Old Halo" that same year. 

"We Celebrate Mahalia Jackson for her church roots, her civil rights movement, and for being the Queen of Gospel"
 
Miss Jackson became an active supporter of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.  She sang at the "March on Washington" at the request of her friend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963.  After King's death in 1968, Jackson sang at his funeral.  In the later years, Miss Jackson had several hospitalizations for various health problems.  She died of a heart attack on January 27, 1972.  She is remembered for her strong, soul-like delivery, her deep commitment to her faith, and her lasting influence on musicians from all of different types of music genres. 
 
 

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