Boxer Joe Louis sits beside singer Lena Horne at a piano in a nightclub in Chicago, ILL., on June 5, 1949. (AP Photo)
Lena Horne, at age 30, is seen rehearsing in London, England, Oct. 30, 1947 for a performance at the London Casino. (AP Photo)
Lena Horne headshot (AP Photo)
In a March 1954 file photo singer Lena Horne performs at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. Singer Lena Horne, who broke racial barriers as a Hollywood and Broadway star famed for her velvety rendition of “Stormy Weather,” has died at age 92. (AP Photo)
In an Oct. 12, 1955 file photo singer and actress Lena Horne and her husband Lennie Hayton are photographed in their hotel room at the Savoy in London, England. (AP Photo/FILE)
Actress-singer Lena Horne tries on a white hat belonging to a crewmember of the USS Nautilus at the stage entrance of the Imperial Theatre where Horne is appearing in the musical “Jamaica” in New York City, Aug. 25, 1958. Standing third from left is her costar Ricardo Montalban. (AP Photo)
Actress-singer Lena Horne is shown in New York City in 1957. (AP Photo/Photofest/WNET)
American actress-singer Lena Horne arrives at London’s Paddington Station, England, on the Liberte boat-train on April 12, 1956. (AP Photo)
Lena Horne, 57, is seen in New York on Dec. 12, 1974. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey)
In an April 30, 1981 file photo singer Lena Horne is shown in a Broadway production “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music” in New York. (AP Photo/file)
In a March 7, 1982 file photo Grammy Award winner Lena Horne, center, is flanked by record producer Quincy Jones, left, holding his Grammy, and Dan Morgenstern, of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, as she displays her award, and the record that earned it, in New York. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm/file)
Singer-actress Lena Horne is embraced by Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster during a gathering marking the upcoming broadcast of “Sing!,” a PBS television special, in New York City, May 15, 1990. (AP Photo/Mark Phillips)
This is a March 29, 1993 file photo of singer-actress Lena Horne at the 65th Annual Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo)
This is a April 7, 1994 file photo of singer-actress in New York City. (AP Photo/Garth Vaughan/file)
This is a June 1995 file portrait of singer and actress Lena Horne. (AP Photo/File)
Horne was known for her signature song “Stormy Weather.” She was also known for her triumph over the bigotry that had allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them.
She once said that one of the reasons for her success was that she was “a kind of black that white people could accept.” She recalled “battling the system” to get blacks admitted to places where she was performing — finally deciding not to work where blacks were excluded.
Her activism was spurred by what she saw while entertaining at an Army base in 1945 — where she says German POWs were sitting up front, while black American soldiers had to sit in the back.
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