Years before Aretha Franklin was crowned Queen of
Soul, Ruth Brown reigned as the Original Queen of R&B.
She achieved a distinct style, sassy and streetwise,
which made her one of the more influential singers of her
era. Ms. Brown sustained a career for six decades: first
as a bright, bluesy singer who was called “the girl with a
tear in her voice” and then, after some lean years, as the
embodiment of an earthy, indomitable black woman. She
had a life of hard work, hard luck, determination, audacity
and style. Sometimes it was said that R&B stood as
much for Ruth Brown as it did for rhythm and blues.
Ruth Brown was born Ruth Weston in Portsmouth,
Virginia on January 12, 1928