Singing in nightclubs and touring with orchestras led by Noble Sissle and Charlie Barnet, her expressive jazz vocals caught the attention of record companies, and she was signed to appear in film musicals throughout the 1940s.
In 1943 she filmed Stormy Weather with Bill Robinson and Cab Calloway for 20th Century Fox. The title song by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler would quickly become Horne’s signature tune.While continuing her recording career, Horne made her mark as a nightclub singer and popular television entertainer with an ever-expanding fan base.
During her career, she won three Grammy awards, and in 1981 she received a special Tony award for her successful one-woman Broadway musical revue, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. That same year, she also won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding actress in a musical.During World War II, she entertained American troops but refused to perform for segregated audiences.