Jazz singer Abbey Lincoln dies

Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:55pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jazz singer Abbey Lincoln, whose career spanned six decades and included acting, composing and participation in the U.S. civil rights movement, died on Saturday at age 80, The New York Times reported.

Lincoln, who was often said to have been strongly influenced by famed jazz singer Billie Holiday, died at her Manhattan apartment, the Times said, citing her brother David Wooldridge.

Starting in the mid-1950s with "Abbey Lincoln's Affair...a Story of a Girl in Love," the Chicago-born Lincoln enjoyed a long and acclaimed singing career. She performed until shortly before her death.

Lincoln also appeared in several films, including "For Love of Ivy" opposite Sidney Poitier in 1968, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, and "The Girl Can't Help It," a 1956 Jayne Mansfield vehicle about rock 'n' roll in which Lincoln sang.

During the 1960s, she was married to jazz musician Max Roach, and became a strong advocate in the civil rights campaigns of the era. They were divorced in 1970.

In the 1970s, Lincoln appeared on several hit television shows, including "All in the Family" and "Marcus Welby, M.D."

Lincoln recorded more than 20 albums, including "Abbey Sings Abbey," which was released in 2007 and featured her own compositions.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Peter Cooney)