Kay Starr, a pop and jazz singer who was most popular in the 1950s, has died at the age of 94, according to multiple news sources, including The New York Times.
Starr had two number one hit songs in the 1950s, “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Rock and Roll Waltz.” She had her roots in jazz vocals but she was also successful with pop and country music.
Starr was born on a reservation in Oklahoma. Her dad was an Iroquois Indian and her mom was of Indian and Irish heritage. She started singing as a child and she had her own radio show at a young age. At the age of 15, she was chosen to sing with the Joe Venuti Orchestra and her career took off from there.In 1947, Starr signed a contract with Capitol Records. Her 1950 cover of the song “Bonaparte’s Retreat” was one of her first hit songs. She had her biggest hit song of her career in 1952 with “Wheel of Fortune.” She also appeared on the television variety series “Club Oasis.”
In her later years, she sang a duet with Tony Bennett for his 2001 album “Playin’ with My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues.”
She was still singing live as recently as this year.