Ruth Lee Jones was born at Tuscaloosa, Alabama on August 29, 1934, moving to Chicago while still a child she played piano and directed her church choir before as a teenager she joined Lionel Hampton’s band as Dinah Washington.
Dinah's distinct style and voice was her trademark as she landed on the R&B charts in the early 1950’s with “I Concentrate On You,” “If It's the Last Thing I Do,” “That's All I Want From You,” “You Might Have Told Me,” “I'm Lost Without You Tonight" and “Soft Winds.”
In the summer of 1959 Dinah Washington’s “What A Difference A Day Makes” started a 20 week long run on the charts as her first million seller, a song that would also earn her a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance. The following year, teaming up with Brook Benton in 1960, their “Baby, You Got What It Takes” and “A Rockin’ Good Way” both garnered gold as top five pop singles.
Still more Hit Parade success as “This Bitter Earth,” “Love Walked In,” “September In The Rain” and “Where Are You” were among Dinah’s more than two dozen chart hits.
Dinah Washington died at just 39 years of age on December 14, 1963 from an accidental overdose of prescription sleeping medication ingested on an empty stomach.
Dinah Washington is a 2008 nominee at the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.