Jazz singer, actress Abbey Lincoln dies at 80
By Matt SchudelWashington Post Staff Writer
Abbey Lincoln, a jazz singer and actress of unshakable integrity who transformed her image from that of a slinky chanteuse to an oracle of hard-won wisdom, died Aug. 14 in New York. She had been in precarious health since having open-heart surgery in 2007, but the precise cause of death could not be learned. She was 80.
Ms. Lincoln found early fame as a sex-kitten supper-club singer and made a cameo appearance in the campy 1956 teen film "The Girl Can't Help It," starring Jayne Mansfield. After meeting and later marrying jazz drummer Max Roach, she became one of the first entertainers to make civil rights and racial pride an overt cause. She was a noted film actress in the 1960s, then retreated to obscurity before staging a remarkable comeback in the 1990s as a singer, songwriter and spiritual elder...............
pic: Abbey Lincoln simplified her singing style. "It isn't about showing how good your voice is," she said. "It's about saying something." (Brad Barket/getty Images