Peggy Lee

Singer + Actress
Born May 26, 1920

Peggy Lee was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. She wrote music for films, acted, and created conceptual record albums—encompassing poetry, jazz, chamber pop, and art songs.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Peggy Lee.


1920 Birth Peggy Lee was born as Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, the seventh of eight children to parents Marvin Olof Egstrom, a station agent for the Midland Continental Railroad, and his wife Selma Amelia (Anderson) Egstrom, on May 26, 1920. … Read More


1941 21 Years Old …  She joined his band in 1941 and stayed for two years.
1942 22 Years Old In 1942 Lee had her first No. 1 hit, "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place", followed by 1943's "Why Don't You Do Right? … Read More
1943 23 Years Old 1 More Event
She sang with Goodman's orchestra in two 1943 films, Stage Door Canteen and The Powers Girl.
1947 27 Years Old So she drifted back to songwriting and occasional recording sessions for the fledgling Capitol Records in 1947, for whom she produced a long string of hits, many of them with lyrics and music by Lee and Barbour, including "I Don't Know Enough About You" (1946) and "It's a Good Day" (1947).
With the release of the US No. 1-selling record of 1948, "Mañana", her "retirement" was over.


1952 32 Years Old She left Capitol for Decca Records in 1952, but returned to Capitol in 1957. … Read More
1953 33 Years Old Her relationship with the Capitol label spanned almost three decades, aside from her brief but artistically rich detour (1952–1956) at Decca Records, where in 1953 she recorded one of her most acclaimed albums, Black Coffee. … Read More
1957 37 Years Old 1 More Event
…  From 1957 until her final disc for the company in 1972, she produced a steady stream of two or three albums per year which usually included standards (often arranged quite differently from the original), her own compositions, and material from young artists. … Read More


1969 49 Years Old Lee was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit "Is That All There Is?" In 1995 she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. … Read More


1999 79 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1999 Lee was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
2002 82 Years Old After suffering years of poor health, Lee died of complications from diabetes and a heart attack on January 21, 2002, at the age of 81. … Read More
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