Popular African-American vocalist and entertainer Barbara McNair dazzled audiences with her singing prowess and exceptional beauty for well over four decades until her death on February 4, 2007 of throat cancer in Los Angeles. The Chicago-born entertainer and one-time secretary was raised in Racine, Wisconsin, one of five children born to Horace and Claudia Taylor McNair. She sang in her church choir and was encouraged by her parents to pursue voice. Following music studies at the Racine Conservatory of Music and the American Conservatory of Music in her hometown Chicago, she moved to Los Angeles and attended USC before relocating once again to New York to pursue her dream. Barbara worked her way up from typist to singer of small supper clubs to headlining large showrooms as one of America's more visible singers of the late 50s and 60s. A jazz stylist influenced by the great Sarah Vaughan at first, she gently eased into popular music. Her first big break came with a week-long gig on A

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