2016 49¢ Sarah Vaughan
Music Icons Series
Though she didn’t have formal training, Sarah Vaughan’s three-octave range and rich vibrato made her a jazz and pop superstar.
Vaughan (1924-90) had a love of music from an early age. Both her parents were part-time musicians and she sang frequent solos in her church choir. In 1942, Vaughan entered a talent contest at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on a dare. She won – both the contest and the attention of singer Billy Eckstine.
Vaughan’s career took off, singing with big bands before going solo. Early on, she developed a unique style, which emulated the sounds of the trumpet and saxophone, that became her hallmark. Vaughan was nicknamed “Sassy” for her playful onstage presence, and dubbed “The Divine One” by a Chicago DJ.
Vaughan became one of the nation’s most acclaimed singers with hits like “Whatever Lola Wants,” “Misty,” and “If You Could See Me Now.” Her concerts were emotional and captivating, earning her invitations to perform at the White House and Carnegie Hall.
In a career spanning five decades, Vaughan received many awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and induction into the Jazz Hall of Fame. As one music critic put it, she had “one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century.”
Value: First-Class Mail Forever
Issued: March 29, 2016
First Day City: Newark, NJ
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Method: Offset, Microprint – “USPS” in Panes of 16
Quantity Printed: 25,000,000
The 2016 49¢ Sarah Vaughan stamp is the seventh issue in the Music Icons Series. The design is an oil painting based on a 1955 photograph taken by Hugh Bell during one of the singer’s performances. The stamp is designed similarly to a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve.