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Dakota Staton Dies at 76

One of the lesser known but still highly revered jazz singers from the ’50s and ’60s, Dakota Staton passed away last Tuesday in Manhattan. No specific cause was cited, but Staton’s health had been declining in recent years. She was 76.

Born on June 3, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Penn., Staton became interested in entertainment at an early age, especially singing and dancing. She attended George Westinghouse High and studied voice at the Filion School of Music in Pittsburgh. Determined to be successful, Staton plunged into the entertainment world immediately after school, performing frequently in the Steel City’s Hill District as a vocalist with the Joe Westray Orchestra. She then spent the following five years touring constantly, mostly in the Midwest in cities like Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis.

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