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Monday, February 14, 2011

Jazz legend George Shearing is dead at 91 - Monsters and Critics

George ShearingCover of George ShearingJazz legend George Shearing is dead at 91 - Monsters and Critics

New York - The blind British jazz pianist and composer Sir George Shearing, most famous for his Lullaby of Birdland, died Monday at age 91.

His manager Dale Sheets said the cause of death was congestive heart failure. He died in Manhattan.
Shearing, whose parents were a coal worker and cleaning lady, moved to the US in 1947 after his first successes in Britain. Two years later he had an international hit with 'September in the Rain.'
His fame grew with his Lullaby of Birdland in 1952, later recorded by music greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Bill Haley and His Comets. His group, the George Shearing Quintet, performed for nearly 30 years before disbanding in the late 1970s.

Shearing performed at the White House for three presidents and for the British royal family. In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him.

'I dont know why I'm getting this honor,' the New York Times quoted him as saying after learning of his knighthood. 'I've just been doing what I love to do.'

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