Jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald’s inspiring quotes to live your dream

Ella Fitzgerald is the first African-American woman to win GRAMMY and the first woman to win multiple GRAMMY awards. On her birth anniversary, a look at her inspirational quotes.

Ella Fitzgerald is a woman of many firsts to her credit. As the first African-American to win GRAMMY for Best Jazz Performance and Best Vocal Performance in 1958 - she also became the first woman to win multiple GRAMMY Awards. In 1967, she became the first woman to receive the Bing Crosby Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ella's passion for singing kept her going through tough times personally and financially, and later became famously known as, 'Queen of Jazz' and 'First Lady of Song'. In her career spanning six decades, she achieved global fame with scores of awards and honours including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

On the jazz legend's birth anniversary, here's looking at some of her most powerful and raw quotes.

On pursuit of dreams

“Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.”

“I know I’m no glamour girl, and it’s not easy for me to get up in front of a crowd of people. It used to bother me a lot, but now I’ve got it figured out that God gave me this talent to use, so I just stand there and sing.”

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”

“You never know how a room feels, what a crowd is going to react to. You have to find out when you’re standing out there singing the first time.”

On love 

"Now we’re not afraid when storm clouds gather… Cause we got the kind of love that’ll see us through."

"What everyone wants more than anything else is to be loved."

"Music is the universal language...it brings people closer together."

On being yourself

“I used to be very self-conscious. I used to wish I was pretty. By smiling, I think I’ve made more friends than if I was the other way.”

“Everybody wants to know about my style and how it came about. It’s no big secret. It’s the way I feel.”

“They refuse to look for new ideas and new outlets, so they fall by the wayside… I’m going to try to find out the new ideas before the others do.”

“I’m very shy, and I shy away from people. But the moment I hit the stage, it’s a different feeling I get nerves from somewhere; maybe it’s because it’s something I love to do.”

"Some like the high road, I like the low road, free from the care and strife."

Edited by Anju Narayanan