Alice Babs
26 January 1924 – 11 February 2014

Alice Babs, born Hildur Alice Nilsson, was a singer and actor from Kalmar in Sweden. Although she worked in a wide number of genres, she was best known internationally as a jazz singer.

Making her breakthrough in Swing it magistern (Swing It, Teacher!) (1940), Babs appeared in more than a dozen Swedish language-films. Despite playing the well-behaved, good-hearted, cheerful girl, the youth culture formed with Alice Babs as its icon caused outrage among members of the older generation. A vicar called the Alice Babs cult the "foot and mouth disease to cultural life".

In 1958, Alice Babs was the first artist to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in 4th place with the song Lilla stjärna (Little Star). The same year, she formed Swe-Danes with Ulrik Neumann and Svend Asmussen. The group would later tour the United States together, before dissolving in 1961.

A long and productive period of collaboration with Duke Ellington started in 1963. Among other works, Alice Babs performed his Second and Third Sacred Concerts which were originally written for her. Her voice had an extreme range; Duke Ellington said that when she did not sing the parts that he wrote for her, he had to use three different singers.





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