Lena Horne sings "The Man I Love" with the band in the background. The summer of 1941, found Horne moving to California. She was signed by RCA and in December 1941 cut eight songs for her first solo album, “Moanin' Low.” Among its selections were songs she would sing throughout her career, including “Stormy Weather,” and “The Man I Love.” In 1942, she signed a seven-year contract with MGM--the first black woman since 1915 to sign a term contract with a film studio. Horne appeared in the all-black film musicals ‘Cabin in the Sky’ and ‘Stormy Weather,’ both released in 1943, but she refused to take on any roles that were demeaning to her as a woman of color..”
In the fall of 1947, Horne went to Europe with Lennie Hayton, who was her pianist, arranger, conductor, and manager. They were married in December in Paris because he was white, and interracial marriages were against the law in California. In the early 1950s, Horne, along with many of her colleagues, was a victim of the anti-Communist “witch hunts” that successfully blacklisted performers who were thought to have ties to Communist organizations or activities. The blacklisting hurt Horne's career and kept her from appearing on radio and television. By the mid-1950s, though, Horne was cleared of these charges. In 1956, she signed a recording contract with RCA Victor. Her albums included “Stormy Weather,” “Lena Horne at the Coconut Grove,” and “Lena Horne at the Waldorf-Astoria.” The latter became the best selling recording by a female artist in RCA's history. In 1957 she drew record crowds to the Empire Room of the Waldorf-Astoria, and in 1958 and 1959 she starred in a Broadway musical, “Jamaica.”
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an African American singer, actress, civil rights activist and dancer.
Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood, where she had small parts in numerous movies, and more substantial parts in the films Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. Due to the Red Scare and her left-leaning political views, Horne found herself blacklisted and unable to get work in Hollywood.
Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963, and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs and on television, while releasing well-received record albums. She announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway and earned her numerous awards and accolades. She continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, disappearing from the public eye in 2000.