She was born in Newport News, on the 25th April 1917. Her father, William, left a shorttime after her birth. Then Ella’s mother got married with Joseph Da Silva.
In 1932, Ella’s mother died because of a car accident. Shortly afterward, Joseph Da Silva suffered a heart attack and died too.Ella entered into a difficult period of her life. Her grades dropped dramatically, and she frequently skipped school. After getting into trouble with the police, she was sent to a reform school.Eventually, Ella escaped from the reform school.
In 1934, Ella won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. She went to the theater that night planning to dance, but when the frenzied EdwardsSisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. She felt her act would not compare.
Once on stage, Ella decided to sing at the last minute. She asked the band to play a song she knew cause it washer mother’s favorite song. Ella quickly quieted the audience, and by the song's end they were demanding an encore.
In the life, Ella was shy and reserved. She was self-conscious about her appearance,and didn’t speak to lots of people. On stage, however, Ella was surprised to find she had no fear. She felt at home in the spotlight.
In the band that night was saxophonist and arranger BennyCarter. Impressed with her natural talent, he began introducing Ella to people who could help launch her career.
In January 1935, Ella first met bandleader Chick Webb. Her voice impressed him. He offeredElla the opportunity to travel with his band. Ella was a major success. In 1936, Ella made her first recording. "Love and Kisses", with moderate success.
Ella’s improvisation and vocalizationthrilled fans.
On the 16th June in 1939, Chick Webb died. Ella became the leader of the band.
In 1946, Ella fell in love with the bassist Ray Brown. They were married and adopted a son, named Ray, Jr....