By: Angela Redding
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 5/3/2020–“ I regard singing pretty much like acting. Each song is like playing a different role. I get very involved with my material. I feel a responsibility for the emotion it brings out in the listener. “ Peggy Lee, American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, and actress.
Peggy Lee’s career as an amazing jazz singer, songwriter, and actress stretches back over seven decades. Lee is best known for her sultry version of “Fever” released in 1958. The song became a top ten hit in the US and a top-five chart-topper in the UK and Australia.
2020 marks the centennial anniversary of this remarkable artist and her considerable contributions to the world of jazz and popular music. Lee was born Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota on May 26, 1920. During her career, she wrote over 200 songs with a variety of collaborators, including Harold Arlen, Cy Coleman, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Marian McPartland, and Victor Young. Lee wrote music for films and did some acting as well.
Lee was a 13-time GRAMMY® nominee, received Lifetime Achievement awards from NARAS, ASCAP, and The Society of Singers, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Pete Kelly’s Blues.
Lady and the Tramp
Walt Disney took notice of Lee’s songwriting ability and hired her along with Sonny Burke to write all of the original songs for his animated classic, Lady and the Tramp, including fan favorites “He’s a Tramp” and “Bella Notte.” Disney liked Lee’s song demos so much that he asked her to voice four of the characters and even named one after her.
The ASCAP Foundation’s Peggy Lee Songwriter Award
In late April, as a way of honoring Lee and her influence on music, The ASCAP Foundation announced the creation of the Peggy Lee Songwriter Award.
The award will be given annually to an up-and-coming ASCAP or unaffiliated songwriter who is not signed to a major publishing deal. Applicants must provide an original song that has never been commercially recorded to be eligible for the award.
The first award to be presented in August.
Winners will receive a cash award of $2,500 and the chance to work with and be mentored by a music executive.
Applications are being taken now and ends May 29,2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Award recipients will be notified August 1.
Holly Foster Wells, Lee’s granddaughter, worked with The ASCAP Foundation to create this unique opportunity for up-and-coming songwriters who demonstrate an intelligent use of language, talent and career potential.
Peggy Lee has been cited as an inspiration by such diverse artists as Adele, Madonna, Billie Eilish, Diana Krall, Bette Midler, Shirley Horn, k.d. lang, and Elvis Costello to name a few.
Recipients of the Peggy Lee Songwriter Award will now be able to add their names to this ever-growing list of talented musicians who are inspired by singer/songwriter, “the female Frank Sinatra” – Ms. Peggy Lee.