Alice Babs, c. 1940
|Birth name||Hildur Alice Nilson|
|Born||26 January 1924|
|Died|| 11 February 2014 90) (aged|
|Genres|| Jazz |
|Associated acts|| Nils Lindberg |
Alice Babs (born Hildur Alice Nilson; 26 January 1924 – 11 February 2014) was a Swedish singer and actress.She worked in a wide number of genres – Swedish folklore, Elizabethan songs and opera. While she was best known internationally as a jazz singer, Babs also competed as Sweden's first annual competition entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest 1958. In 1972 she was named Sweden’s Royal Court Singer, the first non-opera singer as such.
After making her breakthrough in the film Swing it magistern ('Swing It, Teacher!', 1940),she appeared in more than a dozen Swedish-language films. Despite being cast as the well-behaved, good-hearted, cheerful girl, the youth culture forming with Babs as its icon caused outrage among members of the older generation. A vicar called the Babs cult the "foot and mouth disease of cultural life".
In 1958, she was the first artist to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in 4th place with the song "Lilla stjärna" ("Little Star"). The same year, she formed Swe-Danes with guitarist Ulrik Neumann and violinist Svend Asmussen. The group would later tour the United States together, before dissolving in 1965.[ citation needed ]
A long and productive period of collaboration with Duke Ellington began in 1963.Among other works, Babs participated in performances of Ellington's second and third Sacred Concerts which he had written originally for her. Her voice had a range of more than three octaves; Ellington said that when she was not available to sing the parts that he had written for her, he had to use three different singers.
In 1963, her recording of "After You've Gone" (Fontana) reached No. 43 in the British charts.
In 1943 Babs married Nils Ivar Sjöblom (1919–2011). Their three children are Lilleba Sjöblom Lagerbäck (born 1945), Lars-Ivar (Lasse) Sjöblom (born 1948), and Titti Sjöblom (born 1949).
Titti Sjöblom appeared with her mother in recordings and radio shows from the mid-1950s, and also on an early-1960s advertising for Toy Chewing Gum (see inset). At the end of Babs' career, mother and daughter again toured together.[ citation needed ]
Between 1973–2004 Babs and her husband resided in Costa del Sol (in Spain), while still working in Sweden and internationally. In their later years, they returned to Sweden.
Babs died of complications from Alzheimer's disease at age 90 on 11 February 2014 in Stockholm.
Alice Babs' discography includes more than 800 recordings since her debut with Joddlarflickan in 1939. The following is a list of her recordings available on CD, listed chronologically from when they were originally recorded.
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|Awards and achievements|
| Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest |