Definition of Bessie Smith from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Bessie Smith

; NAmE
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(1895-1937) the leading African American blues singer of her time. Her popular name was 'Empress of the Blues'. During her career, she performed with such musicians as Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong and Fletcher Henderson. Her hits included Downhearted Blues (1923). She died after a car crash.