Salome Bey  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Salome Bey (October 10, 1939 – August 9, 2020) was an American-born Canadian singer-songwriter, composer, and actress who lived in Toronto, Ontario, since 1966. In 2005, she was made an honorary Member of the Order of Canada.


Born to a middle-class African-American family in New Jersey, Bey formed a vocal group with her brother Andy Bey and sister Geraldine Bey (de Haas), known as Andy and the Bey Sisters, performing in local clubs and touring North America and Europe. After moving to Toronto in 1964 and playing the jazz club circuit, she became known as "Canada's First Lady of Blues". Bey appeared on Broadway in Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, for which she was nominated for a Grammy Award for her work on the cast album. She put together a blues & jazz cabaret show on the history of black music, Indigo - which earned her the Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding performance. The show was later taped for TV networks.

Bey recorded two albums with Horace Silver, and released live albums of her performances with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and at the Montreux Jazz Festival. She received the Toronto Arts Award for her contributions to the performing arts in 1992, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for lifetime achievement from the Black Theatre Workshop of Montreal in 1996.

Beginning in her early sixties, Bey began showing signs of dementia. As of 2011 her illness had progressed to the point that she could no longer perform.

Bey was a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Salome Bey" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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