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A trailblazer vocalist and actress who was the second African American to be nominated for an Academy Award and the first to star in her own television show, Ethel Waters was born in Chester, PA, on this day in 1896. She rose from a difficult childhood to begin singing professionally at 17, and went on to be a recording artist and film star who earned Oscar nominations for acting (“Pinky,” 1949) and singing (“Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe,” 1943). Here she is singing “Stormy Weather” and “Am I Blue?”