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Winifred Atwell

True First Series / Winifred Atwell

Winifred Atwell

Winifred Atwell

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Winifred Atwell moved to London after the Second World War and studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music. There, she became the first woman to be awarded the top grade for musicianship. In the 1950s, Atwell rose to prominence with a series of boogie-woogie hits, a style she picked up on a dare from American Servicemen stationed in Trinidad. In 1954, she became the first musician of African descent to score a number #1 hit on the UK singles chart with Let’s Have Another Party. She enjoyed success internationally, selling over 20 million records and toured extensively in Britain, the U.S. and Australia. Her hands were famously insured for £40,000 and the policy forbade her from doing dishes. She spent much of the latter part of her life in Australia where she continued to play the piano at her parish church despite her status as a beloved national celebrity.

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Season:Season Five
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