Waters died from uterine cancer, kidney failure and other ailments in Chatsworth, California. She was 80.
Ethel Waters was an African-American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress. She frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts, although she began her career in the 1920s singing blues.
Her best-known recordings include “Dinah,” “Stormy Weather,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “Heat Wave,” “Supper Time,” “Am I Blue?” and “Cabin in the Sky,” as well as her version of the spiritual “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”
Waters was the 2nd African American, after Hattie McDaniel, to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Waters is the great-aunt of singer-songwriter Crystal Waters. Waters often toured with Billy Graham on his crusades.
Ethel Waters had a lesbian relationship with dancer Ethel Williams that led to them being nicknamed ‘The Two Ethels’.
AWARDS & HONORS:
?Grammy Hall of Fame Recordings of Ethel Waters were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have “qualitative or historical significance.”
?1929:”Am I Blue?”,Traditional Pop (Single), Columbia, inducted in 2007.
?1933: “Stormy Weather”, (Keeps Rainin’ All The Time), Jazz (Single), Brunswick, inducted in 2003.
?1925: “Dinah”, Traditional Pop (Single), Columbia, inducted in 1998.
?In 2007 Waters was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.
?In 1994, Waters was honored with a 29 cents Commemorative stamp by the U.S. Postal Service.
?In 1983 Waters was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
?In 1962, Waters was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Series in Route 66 , for the song “Goodnight Sweet Blues”.
?In 1949, Waters was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Pinky (film).
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME: Waters was approved for a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004. However, the actual Star has not been funded, and as of 2015, public fundraising efforts continue.