Portsmouth native Ruth Brown was the best-selling African American female recording artist early in the 1950s. Her two dozen hits established Atlantic Records as “The House That Ruth Built.” Brown also helped to usher in the rock’n’roll genre during the 1950s when promoter Alan Freed introduced America to her vocal style in 1956. She enjoyed her first crossover hit, “Lucky Lips,” in 1957. Among other honors, she won a Tony Award for her performance in the musical Black and Blue in 1989. Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 as “the Queen Mother of the Blues.”
Original Sponsor: Virginia Historical Society and Department of Historic Resources
Geographic Location: Portsmouth
Physical Description of Location: Marker location is an estimate at the time marker was approved by DHR. Actual location will be updated when marker is cast and erected.
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