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Keely Smith, a pop and jazz singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards, as well as her musical and personal partnership with Louis Prima, has died of apparent heart failure in Palm Springs. She was 89.
According to a news release from her publicist, Bob Merlis, Smith was under a physician’s care when she died Saturday.
Smith was born Dorothy Jacqueline Keely in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 9, 1928, and was still a teenager when she began singing with Louis Prima’s band.
She and Prima married in 1953, and together, they won a Grammy in 1959 for their hit “That Old Black Magic,” which peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their songs “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” also made the Hot 100 in 1959.
In 2001 — 42 years later — Smith was nominated for a Grammy for her album Keely Sings Sinatra.
During her seven-decade career, Smith was lauded by critics for her bold voice and her ability to make the music swing, and she received several awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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