Chris Calloway Cause of Death: The Life and Legacy of a Jazz Diva

Chris Calloway was a jazz singer and bandleader who followed in the footsteps of her father, the legendary Cab Calloway. She had a successful career on Broadway and in the music industry, but she also faced many challenges, including a long battle with cancer. She died on August 7, 2008, at the age of 62, leaving behind a legacy of talent and grace.

A Star is Born

Chris Calloway was born on September 21, 1945, in Los Angeles, California. She was the youngest of three daughters of Cab Calloway, the famous singer and bandleader who led the Cotton Club Orchestra in the 1930s and 1940s. Her mother, Nuffi, was a dancer and choreographer who worked with her father on many shows.

Chris grew up surrounded by music and entertainment, and she showed an early interest in singing and performing. She made her television debut at the age of 30, when she appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show alongside her father. She also sang with him at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival.

A Broadway Star

Chris pursued a career on Broadway, where she starred in several musicals and plays. She made her Broadway debut in 1967, playing Minnie Fay in the revival of Hello, Dolly, opposite her father as Horace Vandergelder and Pearl Bailey as Dolly Levi. She received rave reviews for her performance and her chemistry with her father.

She also appeared as Brenda in the 1973 revival of The Pajama Game, understudying Barbara McNair as Babe. She later played the lead role of Babe in a national tour of the show. She also acted in other plays, such as The Amen Corner, The Owl and the Pussycat, and The Wiz.

A Jazz Singer

Chris followed her father’s footsteps as a jazz singer and bandleader. She performed with her father’s Hi-De-Ho Orchestra for 20 years, until his death in 1995. She then formed her own band and continued to perform his songs and her own. She toured extensively in the United States and abroad, playing at venues such as the Blue Note, the Kennedy Center, and the Lincoln Center.

She also recorded several albums, such as Live at the Outpost Performance Space, This Thing Called Love, and Signature. She was known for her powerful voice, her scat singing, and her charisma on stage. She also paid tribute to her aunt, Blanche Calloway, who was a pioneering female bandleader in the 1930s. She wrote and performed a one-woman show called Clouds of Joy: The Spiritual Journey of Blanche Calloway, which premiered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she lived since 1991.

A Cancer Survivor

Chris was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, and she underwent several surgeries and treatments. She did not let the disease stop her from performing and living her life. She was an advocate for cancer awareness and prevention, and she participated in many fundraisers and events for the cause. She also shared her story and her faith with her fans and friends.

She battled cancer for 21 years, until it finally claimed her life on August 7, 2008. She died at her home in Santa Fe, surrounded by her family and loved ones. She is survived by her mother, Nuffi, her sisters, Cecelia and Cabella, and many other relatives and friends.

A Legacy of Talent and Grace

Chris Calloway left behind a legacy of talent and grace, as a singer, an actress, a bandleader, and a person. She was a devoted daughter, sister, friend, and mentor to many. She was a proud heir of her father’s musical heritage, and she also carved her own niche in the jazz world. She was a courageous and gracious woman who faced adversity with dignity and optimism. She was a jazz diva who touched many hearts and souls with her voice and her spirit.