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The first Black pianist to win national fame was Thomas Greene Bethune, [Blind Tom]. He was also the first black artist known to have performed at the White House. Then about ten years old, he played the piano for President James Buchanan. Born a slave near Columbus, Georgia, Bethune’s talent as a composer and a pianist was soon recognized by Colonel Bethune, who had purchased him in 1850.

Elisabeth Welch, the American singer who introduced the “Charleston” on Broadway before becoming a superstar in England, in 1935. Born in Manhattan in 1904 to a Scottish-Irish mother and African American father, Ms. Welch was a favorite of iconic composers Noël Coward and Cole Porter. She was the first singer to popularize the classic Porter tune, “Love for Sale” and it would become a signature song in her career. She also introduced “Stormy Weather” to Britain

- Cher - American recording artist, television personality, actress, director, record producer and philanthropist. -