Artist picture of Keely Smith

Keely Smith

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Artist's top tracks

When Your Lover Has Gone Keely Smith 03:03
S'Posin' Keely Smith 02:38
Can't Take My Eyes Off You Keely Smith 03:26
That Old Black Magic Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Sam Butera And The Witnesses 02:56
East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon) Keely Smith 03:26
Cocktails For Two Keely Smith 02:53
All The Way Keely Smith 03:02
I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You) Keely Smith 02:10
I Can't Get Started Keely Smith 03:26
Luigi Louis Prima, Keely Smith 02:42

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Just A Gigolo
Oh, Marie
Buona Sera
Jump, Jive, An' Wail

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Biography

Keely Smith was an iconic American jazz and pop singer whose partnership with her then husband, bandleader Louis Prima, made them among the standout acts in Las Vegas in the 1950s. They released hit records and won a Grammy Award. After they divorced in 1961 Smith went on to a highly successful solo career with recordings that featured her trademark cool and assured delivery of jazz standards and popular songs. She died of heart failure in Palm Springs on 16th December 2017, aged 89.

Born in Virginia of part Cherokee heritage, her singing talent emerged when she was very young when she performed on a children's radio show. She sang with the Earl Bennett band at the age of 15 and in 1953 she met and married extravagant bandleader Prima and became the lead singer with his band. With hits such as the Grammy Award-winning single 'That Old Black Magic' and Grammy Hall of Fame entry 'The Wildness', they appeared on primetime television and became headliners in Las Vegas.

Smith made her solo recording debut in 1957 with the album 'I Wish You Love', arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle. She was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance and she was nominated again in 2001 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for 'Keely Sings Sinatra'. She recorded 'Politely' (1958) with Billy May and 'Swingin' Pretty' (1959) and 'Little Girl Blue/Little Girl New' (1963) with Riddle. Other releases included 'Keely Smith with Count Basie - 1963 Live Guard Sessions' (1963), 'The Intimate Keely Smith' (1964), 'Keely Smith Sings the John Lennon-Paul McCartney Songbook' (1964) and 'That Old Black Magic' (1965) with arrangements by Ernie Freeman.

Her songs can be heard on the soundtracks of several movies including 'Ocean's 11' (1960), 'Raging Bull' (1980) and 'Casino' (1995). At the age of 70 she released 'Swing, Swing, Swing' which went to number 20 on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart in 2000. 'Keely Swings Basie-style With Strings' reached number 44 in 2003 and 'Vegas '58 - Today: Recorded Live at Feinstein's at the Regency' went to number 46 in 2005. She continued to perform at venues such as New York's Café Carlyle and she sang 'That Old Black Magic' with Kid Rock at the concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grammy Awards. In its obituary, the New York Times called her "the epitome of cool, her vocals like a balm".