Chanteuse, actress, outspoken performer, and all around diva Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day. Linda L. Richards has details and links on her blog. Here, I'll just say that I had the privilege of seeing Kitt perform a year ago last summer at the Newport Jazz Festival. At that point, she must have been dealing with the cancer that took her life, but she was magnificent. In the days since, I've read several obits, and have been newly impressed by her strength (the daughter of an unwed mother, she pretty much had to fend for herself for much of her youth) and her brave candor (Lady Bird Johnson asked Kitt what she thought about the Vietnam War. Kitt told her – and had to move to Europe as a result of the blacklist that followed).
What a great lady! Put on a copy of "Santa Baby" tonight, even though it's after the holiday, and remember her. Eartha Kitt, RIP.