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Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 09:37 GMT
Jazz legend Peggy Lee dies
Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee had a series of health problems
Soulful singing legend Peggy Lee has died of a heart attack at the age of 81.

Her daughter Nicki Lee Foster confirmed the star had lost her long battle against illness on Monday at her Bel Air, Los Angeles, home.

Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee was nominated for an Oscar in 1955
Lee is best known for her rendition of Fever and in 1969 she won a Grammy award for best contemporary female vocal performance for the hit Is That All There Is?

Ms Lee Foster posted a message onto her mother's website in the hours after her death, thanking fans for their support over the years.

"My mother was always very appreciative of the love and loyalty she received from her wonderful fans", she wrote.

She added: "My children David, Holly, and Michael and I were comforted by the fact that she was at home, and that I was able to be by her side."

Lee was launched onto the music scene in 1941 when she joined the line-up of the Benny Goodman Band, going on to marry the group's guitarist David Barbour.

Nominated

Her distinctive voice also brought her to the attention of movie producers who cast her in several big films including The Jazz Singer and Midnight Serenade.

She was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar in 1955 for her portrayal of an alcoholic singer in Pete Kelly's Blues.

Her writing talent and dusky vocals featured on the soundtrack to the classic Disney film The Lady and the Tramp in 1955.

But it took her more than 35 years to receive the royalties for her contribution.

Heart surgery

She was eventually awarded $2.3m (1.6m) back royalties in 1991 for video sales.

In 1999 she suffered a stroke and had struggled with heart problems and diabetes.

She was seriously injured in a Las Vegas fall in 1987 and in early 1985 she had surgery to open clogged arteries.

Later that year, she underwent double-bypass heart surgery.

She leaves three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Author Lucy Powell
"She really was a one off"
The BBC's Chris Jones
"She had more than her share of troubles"

Talking PointTALKING POINT
Send us your tributes to jazz legend Peggy LeePeggy Lee
Send us your tributes to the jazz legend
See also:

22 Jan 02 | Music
Peggy Lee's legacy in music
22 Jan 02 | Music
Peggy Lee: Lady of jazz
03 Nov 98 | Americas
Peggy Lee suffers stroke
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