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rhythm and blues singer; actor | Millie Jackson

Millie Jackson

Jackson was born in 1944 in Thompson, Georgia, and brought up in her grandparents' home. It was a devout household, and she attended church services as often as six days a week at times. When she was 15, she moved to New Jersey, where her father lived, and found work at Schrafft's, a famous New York City luncheon counter.

She began her singing career one night on a dare at a Harlem nightclub, joining a band on stage at the urging of her friends. Her first paid engagement came in 1964 at a Hoboken, New Jersey venue; only in 1967 did she quit Schrafft's and embark on her first real concert tour.

Life on the road proved to be difficult and unprofitable. Jackson returned to New York and took a clerical job in the garment district, although she continued to sing at night.

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