Ella Fitzgerald had the opportunity of singing with almost all of the major singers and artists of her era. She sang over 2000 songs during her lifetime and won thirteen Grammy awards besides the prestigious Life Time Achievement Award and numerous others. Her career refused to slow down until diabetes caused her to concentrate on her health more than on her singing (McCurdy).
Ella performed with numerous artists during her musical career. However, the most well known and significant of her collaborations are those in which she performed with the great trumpeter Louis Armstrong, Organ and Piano player Count Basie, guitarist Joe Pass and Piano player Duke Ellington. She performed in three studio albums with Louis Armstrong in the late 1950s. Ella also performed with the great Frank Sinatra several times on television specials. Albums such as Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again, Ella and Basie!, Jazz at Santa Monica Civic ’72, Take Love Easy, Speak Love and Ella at Duke’s Place are only a few of the great collaborations that Ella engaged in.
It is important to highlight at this point that a significant number of Ella Fitzgerald’s collaborations took place in the form of live performances being recorded. For instance, she recorded two live albums with Duke Ellington and almost all her recordings with Frank Sinatra were of live performances that the two had given.
It is considered that it was by the late 1970s that Ella’s voice began to show evidence of aging. Her health began to deteriorate considerable in the 1980s and had been diagnosed with diabetes and circulation complexities earlier. The First Lady of Song passed away in the summer of 1996 (Spiller).