Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1873 1943) was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor some of whose works are among the most popular in the classical repertoire. Rachmaninoff took up the piano at age four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. Rachmaninoff and his family left Russia and resided in the United States. Between 1918 and 1943, he completed six compositions, including Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Louis Armstrong (1901 – 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades and different eras in jazz. Armstrong was a leading personality of the day. During his long career he played and sang with some of the most important instrumentalists and vocalists of the time; among them were Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith and perhaps most famously Ella Fitzgerald. Of note: in 1950, Armstrong recorded the first American version of C'est si bon (Henri Betti, André Hornez, Jerry Seelen) and La Vie en rose (Louiguy, Édith Piaf, Mack David).
Billie Holiday [1915–1959] was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter. Nicknamed "Lady Day" Billie Holiday is considered a legendary performer. Billie Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues was by written by William Dufty in 1956.
"God Bless the Child" became Holiday's most popular recor selling over a million records. In 1976, the song was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Georges Brassens (1921 –1981) was a French singer-songwriter and poet. He wrote and sang, with his guitar, more than a hundred of his poems, as well as texts from many others such as Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine, and Louis Aragon. In 1967, he received the Grand Prix de Poésie of the Académie française. Georges Brassens is considered one of France's most accomplished postwar poets.
Josephine Baker (1906 –1975) was an entertainer, activist, and French Resistance agent. Her career was centered primarily in her adopted France. During her early career she was renowned as a dancer, and was among the most celebrated performers in Paris. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she became a French national after her marriage in 1937.
Renown for aiding the French Resistance during World War II she was awarded the Croix de guerre by the French military, and was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by General Charles de Gaulle.
Baker adopted twelve children from many different countries.