PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Keely Smith, a pop and jazz singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards as well as her musical 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 for their hit, “That Old Black Magic” in 1959.
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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 ability to make the music swing, and she received several awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.