1962: Lena Horne and Lennie Hayton
Lena and Lennie were a perfect match. Her, an electrifying stage presence as an actress and singer; he, an award-winning musical director for major Hollywood studios. Lennie became Lena’s musical director, and in 1962, Lena released two albums: Lena on the Blue Side and Lena…Lovely and Alive.
But things weren’t as they seemed—sort of. For one, they faced the challenges you’d expect interracial couples to face in the early 1960s. She later told Ebony in the magazine’s May 1980 issue, “You must know that in the beginning, I didn’t marry Lennie because I was in love with him. I respected him because he knew a lot of music and I knew that I had to learn how to sing. I callously realized that I would have to associate with a White person to get the things I wanted professionally.” That said, “I learned to love him very much. It turned out to be a perfect marriage.”