Ruth Brown (1928-2006) was known as the queen of R&B. She had a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean." Atlantic became known as "the house that Ruth built" (alluding to the popular nickname for the old Yankee Stadium).
Between 1949 and 1955, her records stayed on the R&B chart for a total of 149 weeks, with sixteen in the top 10, including five number-one hits.
During the 1960s, Brown faded from public view and lived as a housewife and mother, but she returned to performing in the late 1970s. She played an excitable dj Motormouth Maybelle in the John Waters film "Hairspray" and won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a musical for her appearance in "Black and Blue." She also won a Grammy award as Best Female Jazz Artist for her album Blues on Broadway, which featured hits from the show.