In life, she was known as the “First Lady of Song” and the “Queen of Jazz.” And though the world lost legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald in 1996, her legacy has, for the most part, survived through her incredible musical catalog, which includes her inimitable interpretations of the Great American Songbook (much of which this writer proudly owns on vinyl—and yes, that’s a not-so-humble-brag).
Now, Fitzgerald can hopefully entertain a new generation. The preternaturally talented singer, along with tennis legend Billie Jean King and nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, is one of the latest icons to be immortalized in Barbie’s Inspiring Women line, a collection of dolls that pays tribute to women who’ve made extraordinary, history-making strides while encouraging today’s girls to “dream big,” as the brand tells us:
The Ella Fitzgerald doll, as part of the Inspiring Women Series, is part of Barbie’s mission to close the Dream Gap through a multi-year global initiative to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential by showing girls more role models, historical and present, and telling their stories.
Like her doll predecessors Rosa Parks, who received a tribute Barbie last August, and “hidden figure” Katharine Johnson, Fitzgerald’s Barbie includes a doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity from the brand. The fully articulated likeness of the jazz singer, which includes a vintage microphone and stand, also features a curvy body type (perhaps not quite as curvy as Fitzgerald was in life, but we appreciate the effort) and is dressed in an elegant, era-specific, shimmery deep purple gown with an elegant updo and pearlescent brooch reminiscent of looks the famed performer wore at the height of her career.
While jazz stans like me may purchase this just to gaze upon it in the box, the Ella Fitzgerald Barbie ($29.99) is intended for ages 6 and up, and is available for pre-order at Target, Amazon, and, of course, Barbie.com.