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Chosen as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017, Washington Post Best Book of 2017,  Amazon Best Humor and Entertainment Pick of the Year, and Booklist Top Ten Arts Book.

“The early years of Sarah Vaughan’s career coincided with the waning of the swing era, and this biography shows how the change both fueled and limited her career.” (The New Yorker)

“Queen of Bebop explores the hard choices of many a jazz singer when rock ‘n roll began stealing audience focus, relying on a variety of performers to shed light on Vaughan’s mindset. A welcome and well-researched accounting of Vaughan’s life story.” (NPR.org)

“Necessary and exciting. . . . Queen of Bebop models a way of understanding the lives and artistry of jazz musicians — one that establishes their importance and centrality in creating the best that America has offered the world.” (Washington Post)

“In this rich and vivid biography, Elaine M. Hayes pays Vaughan the proper tribute she has deserved for far too long.” (Rolling Stone)

“Hayes captures the intoxicating backstage history of this pivotal era in jazz and its impact on American culture. Never far from the narrative is also the history of the racial divides that worked against black musicians on tour and that dominated the recording industry. ... [Vaughan] is finally given her full due as a musician and jazz vanguard in Elaine Hayes’ Queen of Bebop." (New York Journal of Books)

“As a biographer, Hayes strikes a difficult balance between discussing Vaughan’s art and illuminating the tumultuous relationships of which Vaughan rarely spoke.” (Women’s Review of Books)

“A lively and moving portrait of the passionate and tenacious jazz singer. Hayes gracefully narrates Vaughan’s life… a detailed look at a fearless singer who constantly moved into new musical territories and left a legacy for younger musicians.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

“Hayes’ interviews with musicians, meticulous jazz history, incisive coverage of the ridiculous publicity campaigns the performer endured, and frank coverage of Vaughan’s emotionally and financially disastrous marriages and her repeated rising from the ashes cohere in a deeply illuminating and unforgettable biography of a true American master.” (Booklist, Starred Review)

“Excellent… [Hayes] is consistently good about placing her subject in the larger cultural contexts of her times. It gives her narrative a meaningful intelligence and consequence." (Down Beat)

“This is an important book – one that does a long overdue – and overlooked thing – well.” (The Buffalo News, Editor's Choice)

“an informative, meticulously researched biography. . . . a fine homage.” (emissourian.com)

"Like all the best jazz biographies, it will send readers back to their old vinyl LPs (or to Spotify) to hear just where Vaughan’s genius lies.” (The New Mexican)

“Inspiring. . . . traces Vaughan’s life and its intersection of music with race and gender.” (Library Journal)

"Elaine Hayes' meticulous research and nuanced reading of the complexities surrounding Vaughan's navigation of race, gender, the jazz industry and male-centered definitions of artistry strongly argues for a reframing of the singer's place in jazz history. You may think you know Sarah Vaughan, but this book reveals how much you don't. Queen of Bebop is a much-needed addition to jazz scholarship." (Tammy Kernodle, author of Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams)

"A smart, respectful, and readable treatise on a great American musician. Queen of Bebop is a richly contextualized and beautifully researched listening guide for the long, musical career of Sarah Vaughan as an artist who refused to choose sides: between jazz purism and pop success, singing and musical experimentation, or among the limiting marketing categories of race-coded sound of the postwar recording industry. Hayes begins by firmly placing Vaughan as a full member, never a hanger-on, of the brilliant young cohort of the 1943 Hines band, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Benny Green, and Shadow Wilson, whose 'curious minds and intense work ethic' shaped jazz, and modern music to come—but that’s just the beginning! She then keep us listening carefully to how Vaughan plays the changes through the crossover to pop stardom, illuminating how the bebop innovator who could sing as quickly as she could think new musical ideas, and think as quickly as she could sing them, brought these qualities to bear in resounding pop possibilities for black women artists, and how she did so without giving up her jazz career. In respectfully treating Vaughan’s unflagging artistry, drive, and the social justice stakes involved in working within and against the new kinds of hit-making strategies and technologies, Hayes' treatment, like that of her subject, lifts us beyond the bop/pop divide." (Sherrie Tucker, author of Dance Floor Democracy)

"With an eye for detail and an ear for nuance, Elaine M. Hayes takes us on Vaughan’s journey from shy church girl to the sassy, masterful 'musician’s singer' she became. Vaughan’s matchless commitment to her art shines through every page of this revealing study of a black woman whose musicianship became the touchstone of scores of singers who followed her. Hayes swings the changes of Vaughan’s life and career with sensitivity and precision. This book is a must read for fans and scholars of the 'Divine One’s' singular contribution to American music. (Guthrie P. Ramsey, author of The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History and the Challenge of Bebop and African American Music)

"To read Queen of Bebop is to come to know so much more of Sarah Vaughan than mere biography. Elaine Hayes brings to life the story of one of America's most musically gifted, creative, intelligent, and productive women. The narrative weaves together vivid performances with the voices of those who knew the singer, who grew up with her, recorded and performed with her, by those who produced and sold her voice to the world at large, and by aspiring musicians who continue to see Sarah Vaughan as the model for jazz song today.  This is an enticing and essential read for anyone drawn to the sounds of the inimitable Sarah Vaughan and what it meant to be strong, talented, beautiful, and black in 20th century America." (Carol Ann Muller, author of Musical Echoes: South African Women Thinking in Jazz)