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The great Lena Horne, influential as a trailblazer for race relations as well as a groundbreaking singer and performer, died last night in a Manhattan hospital. She was 92.

As one of the first black singers to be featured in a major white band and one of the first black actresses to be under contract to a major Hollywood studio, Horne's list of firsts often overshadowed discussion of her considerable talents as a singer and actress. She was a powerful jazz singer, whose phrasing and delivery improved with age and experience, as her 1981 comeback "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music" proved. She will be missed.