Dakota Staton Biography

3 June 1930, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 10 April 2007, New York City, New York, USA. After singing in clubs in a style modelled on that of such diverse artists as Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, Staton began to attract wider attention in the mid-50s. She extended her repertoire to include popular songs, R&B, soul and gospel and made a number of successful recordings for Capitol Records in the late 50 and early 60s including The Late, Late Show (1957), Dynamic! (1958) and At Storyville (1961). Following her husband, the trumpeter Talib Ahmad Dawud (b. Al Barrymore, 26 January 1923, Antigua, West Indies, d. 9 July 1999, USA), Staton converted to Islam and for a time adopted the name Aliyah Rabia. In the mid-60s Staton took up residence in the UK and Europe, but was back in the USA early in the following decade. She was at her best with mainstream jazz accompaniment, whether a big band, such as Manny Albam’s or Kurt Edelhagen’s, or a small group, such as those led by George Shearing and Jonah Jones. Staton’s R&B material was less attractive, often performed at feverish tempos and with a deliberate coarsening of her powerful voice.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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