Joya Sherrill was one of Duke Ellington's favorite vocalists. Not only did he praise her clear diction and articulation, Ellington worked with Sherrill throughout the '40s. In turn, Sherrill worked with Ellington alumni like Rex Stewart and Ray Nance into the '60s, and albums like 1965's Sings Duke reunited her with Ellington's songs and players. In 1994 at the age of 67, Sherrill revealed that her vocal skills were still strong half a century after her early heydays with the Duke by recording another set of Ellington songs, Black Beauty: The Duke in Mind. Joya Sherrill died at her home in Great Neck, NY on June 28, 2010 at the age of 85 after being stricken by leukemia.
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