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Ella Fitzgerald “would be overjoyed brands are adopting her civil rights story to inspire”

The treasured icon of the American jazz landscape, Ella Fitzgerald is being brought into the 21st Century licensing space thanks to the efforts of Greenlight.

The company – the icon representation, merchandise licensing and rights clearance division of Branded Entertainment Network – has been appointed to license the legendary musician for advertising opportunities and marketing campaigns.

The deal was given the approval by Evolution USA, the Los Angeles based global brand management firm for the Ella Fitzgerald Estate.

Ella Fitzgerald, also known as the First Lady of Song, is considered by many as one of the greatest, most influential jazz singers of the 20th century. She launched her career in 1934 during Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre, where she became a household name and the first African-American female in history to lead a band.

From there, she went on to dominate the jazz landscape between the 1940s and 1960s, performing with some of the greatest musicians of the time including Louis Armstrong, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin.

Her voice is regarded as a signature sound of American jazz as she went on to record more than 2,000 songs and sold over 40 million albums.

“Ella is one of America’s greatest treasures, who made her voice into a powerful beacon of strength and perseverance that helped her overcome her humble beginnings,” said Travis J Rutherford, Evolution USA’s founder and chief revenue officer.

“She remains an inspirational icon, whose values and determination are as strong and relevant as ever. We could think of no better partner than the Greenlight team to help us advance Ella’s image, especially in the current climate we live in.

“She was a civil rights activist at heart and would be overjoyed that brands are adopting her story to connect and inspire people.”

Ella Fitzgerald capitalised on her fame and talents to advocate for equality and social advancement as a humanitarian and civil rights leader. In 1993, she set up the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, permitting grants to disadvantaged children for music, education and health.

She also actively supported various NGOs, including the American Heart Association, City of Hope and the Retina Foundation.

“At Greenlight we are honoured to be working with such a trailblazer of women’s empowerment to ensure her attributes and inspiring story are authentically interwoven with the most fitting brands,” said Tamra Knepfer, senior vice president of Greenlight.

“Inspired by how Ella found and used her voice to overcome life’s obstacles, our work will further ensure that her amazing legacy will continue to live on, forever.” 

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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