Delta Divas of Distinction is a page dedicated to the dynamic women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, meant to spotlight the talents, service and achievements of these phenomenal women.
Trunks up, ladies!!!
Gospel great, Shirley Caesar receives her flowers while she can still smell them. On June 29, 2016, the 'Queen of Gospel' was enshrined on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a star of her very own. During her 65 years as a Gospel recording artist, she has amassed a wealth of musical success as well as influenced many artists in the music industry throughout various generations. Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, referenced Caesar as "a musical trailblazer who has influenced a wide range of artists across genres." He went on to say that "her career has made an indelible mark on American music and the sounds of gospel," said Gubler.
Noted as the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead, Cecily L. Tyson is one of the most respected actresses of our time. She was born on December 18, 1924 in Harlem, New York to West Indian parents, Frederica and William Tyson who migrated from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Tyson got her start as a fashion model for The Grace Del Marco Agency, historically known as the first black modeling agency. As it turns out, modeling was the catalyst to her career as an actress, which officially began with a role on NBC’s Frontiers of Fashion in 1951. Just before Tyson’s career took off she suffered a personal set back when the relationship with her mother, a devoutly religious woman became strained. Tyson recounted in her appearance on Oprah’s Master Class, that her mother’s disapproval of her career led to her refusal to speak to her for several years, in protest of what she perceived to be an indecent profession. After several successful stints on television, which included a role on the Guiding Light (1961), Hollywood called and offered her a part in the 1956 film Carib Gold alongside Ethel Waters. Her break out role, the one that solidified her as a bonafied star, was her depiction of a 110 year old former slave woman in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Her performance in this film garnered lots of critical acclaim and earned Ms. Tyson her first Emmy win in 1972. In 1977, she joined an all-star cast in the ground breaking television mini-series Roots, where she played the mother of Kunta Kinte, an African boy captured and taken away from his home to be enslaved in America.
Natalie Maria Cole (b. 2/6/1950) was an award winning recording artist and songwriter. As the daughter of legendary crooner Nat King Cole, she was exposed to music and the industry's best at an early age. She began performing in front of audiences at 11, which helped to perfect her stage presence. Before embarking on a music career, Ms. Cole attended the University of Massachusetts, where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. before graduating in 1972. Her career took off after several years of performing in night clubs with her band Black Magic.