Profession: Opera Singer
Why Famous: Grace Bumbry is one of the leading mezzo-soprano and soprano opera singers of her generation. She made her opera debut in Paris in 1960 in Verdi's "Aïda" before being chosen to sing in Wagner's "Tannhäuser" at the Bayreuth Festival, where she caused a sensation and was afterwards dubbed "Black Venus" by the press.
Bumbry went on to have a long and influential career, singing at The White House and in major opera theaters around the world. In 2009 she was honored with a Kennedy Center Award.
- 1961-07-23 American opera singer Grace Bumbry becomes the first black singer to perform at the Bayreuth Festival, Germany, she earns 42 curtain calls