50 Ella Fitzgerald Quotes From The Queen Of Jazz

Srija Chanda
Dec 12, 2023 By Srija Chanda
Originally Published on Feb 17, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Bronze Statue to Ella Fitzgerald, created by artist Danielle Lauffer, stands in gardens of the Montreux Palace.

Ella Fitzgerald, an American jazz singer, was often referred to as the First Lady of Song, the Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella.

The 13-time Grammy Award winner who sold over 40 million albums started her career way back in 1934 and dominated over half a century of music. She was even presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Reagan.

Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born on 25 April 1917 in Newport News, Virginia. She was a famous jazz singer, famed for her wide range and the rare sweetness in her voice.

She became an international legend of jazz during a career that spanned over six decades. It is said that Marilyn Monroe even spent hours listening to Ella's recordings to help improve her singing, and Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong formed one of the best performing partnerships in the world of jazz.

We have gathered the best Ella Fitzgerald quotes for you, including famous Ella Fitzgerald quotes about her career as a singer, Ella Fitzgerald quotes about her strength as a woman, and Ella Fitzgerald quotes what it really takes to be like a jazz singer.

If you like these Ella Fitzgerald quotes, check out these Duke Ellington quotes and Thelonious Monk quotes too.

Famous Quotes By Ella Fitzgerald

Discover famous Ella Fitzgerald quotes about life here.

1. "Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

2. "It isn't where you came from, it's where you're going that counts."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

3. "Everybody wants to know about my style and how it came about. It's no big secret. It's the way I feel."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

4. "Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies, Do I see."

- Ella Fitzgerald, 'Blue Skies'.

5. "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

6. "I've had some wonderful love affairs and some that didn't work out. I don't want to dwell on that and I don't want to put people down, but I think all the fabulous places I've been, the wonderful things that have happened for me, the great people I've met - that ought to make a story."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

7. "I never was cut out to step and strut out. Give me the simple life."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

8. "My cousin Georgia always taught me that if you smile, people will like you.

Sometimes people will say something you don't like, and you get angry a bit, but you just smile. You let it go by, even if you really would like to choke 'em. By smiling, I think I've made more friends than if I was the other way."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

9. "Oh, I have gobs and gobs of ideas, but... well, you dream things like that, and that's what these are, you know - my daydreams."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

10. "I used to be very self-conscious. I used to wish I was pretty."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

11. "I stole everything I ever heard, but mostly I stole from the horns."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

Quotes About Ella Fitzgerald

Discover famous quotes from singers and others about Ella Fitzgerald.

12. "Ella knows her way around her voice as very few people today. But there are times when she seems to be unaware there are things the human voice just doesn't do. She does them."

- Dom Cerulli.

13. "She has been more famous, over a longer time span, than any other female singer."

- Leonard Feather.

14. "There is no voice like that lady. She has it all. She's complete."

- Louie Bellson

15. "She has been one of my all-time favorite singers for many years and still is - she's terrific."

- Perry Como.

16. "Every other singer, male or female, if they're lucky, they listen to Ella."

- Pat Boone.

17. "The best way to start any musical evening is with this girl. It don't get better than this."

- Frank Sinatra.

18. "Ella's voice becomes the orchestra's richest and most versatile sound."

- Arthur Fiedler.

19. "I was there from the beginning, and it was obvious from the start what she had that night at the Apollo. My goodness, what she's done with it."

- Benny Carter.

20. "Man, woman or child, Ella is the greatest of them all."

- Bing Crosby.

21. "Music comes out of her. When she walks down the street, she leaves notes."

- Jimmy Rowles.

22. "One of my biggest musical influences is definitely Ella Fitzgerald as a vocalist."

- Elle Varner.

23. "I also met, early on Ella Fitzgerald. Her songbooks are some of the most amazing bodies of work."

- Johnny Mathis.

24. "I have a fondness for Jazz, particularly for Jazz singers, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald all the way through the Sinatra era."

- Bob Iger.

25. "No one in the world can beat Ella Fitzgerald as a riff singer."

- Ethel Waters.

Quotes About Singing By Ella Fitzgerald

Here you'll find all the Ella Fitzgerald song quotes.

26. "Forgive me if I don't have all the words. Maybe I can sing it and you'll understand."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

27. "I know I'm no glamour girl, and it's not easy for me to get up in front of a crowd of people. It used to bother me a lot, but now I've got it figured out that God gave me this talent to use, so I just stand there and sing."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

28. "The only thing better than singing is more singing."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

29. "Music is the universal language… it brings people closer together."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

30. "I guess what everyone wants more than anything else is to be loved. And to know that you loved me for my singing is too much for me."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

31. "I sing like I feel."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

32. "When I'm on stage I feel at home."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

33. "Once, when we were playing at the Apollo, Holiday was working a block away at the Harlem Opera House. Some of us went over between shows to catch her, and afterward, we went backstage. I did something then, and I still don't know if it was the right thing to do - I asked her for her autograph."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

34. "Some kids in Italy call me Mama Jazz; I thought that was so cute. As long as they don't call me Grandma Jazz."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

35. "I'm very shy, and I shy away from people. But the moment I hit the stage, it's a different feeling, I get the nerve from somewhere; maybe it's because it's something I love to do."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

Ella Fitzgerald Quotes For Motivation

These inspirational jazz quotes and Ella Fitzgerald quotes will surely motivate you to make it big in life.

36. "Life can be so sweet

On the sunny side of the street"

- Ella Fitzgerald, 'On The Sunny Side Of The Street'.

37. "I'm going to try to find out the new ideas before the others do."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

38. "A lot of singers think all they have to do is exercise their tonsils to get ahead. They refuse to look for new ideas and new outlets, so they fall by the wayside.

- Ella Fitzgerald.

39. "A house that rings with joy and laughter, and the ones you love inside."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

40. "Noticing the days hurrying by; when you're in love, my how they fly!"

- Ella Fitzgerald, 'Blue Skies'.

41. "I have been rich, and I have been poor. Believe me baby, rich is better!"

- Ella Fitzgerald.

42. "It isn't where you came from; it's where you're going that counts."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

43. "Into each life, some rain must fall."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

44. "Our love is as deep as the sea, our love is as great as a love can be, and we can weather the great unknown, if we're alone together."

- Ella Fitzgerald, 'Alone Together'.

45. "Summertime, and the livin' is easy"

- Ella Fitzgerald, 'Summertime'.

46. "I sang because I was too nervous to dance."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

47. "I did a film called 'Puccini For Beginners,' which was a romantic comedy, and I always wanted to do more, but I kept doing drama."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

48. "I don't want to say the wrong thing, which I always do. I think I do better when I sing."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

49. "You take romance - I'll take Jell-O."

- Ella Fitzgerald, 'A Fine Romance'.

50. "All I did was sing 'How High The Moon.' It seemed like the only song I ever sang."

- Ella Fitzgerald.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Ella Fitzgerald quotes then why not take a look at these Aretha Franklin Quotes or jazz quotes for more great quotes?

main image credit: InnaFelker / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Srija Chanda

Master of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

Srija Chanda picture

Srija ChandaMaster of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.

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