‘Queen of the Boogie’: How Boyle Heights native Hadda Brooks became a music star

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Hadda Brooks performing in the 1950 movie “In a Lonely Place,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. Video courtesy of YouTube.

Hadda Brooks was one of the most popular musicians in America during much of the 20th Century. Known as “Queen of the Boogie,” she sang and played piano with a mix of blues and jazz. She also became the first African American woman to host her own weekly TV show in LA. 

Brooks was born and raised in Boyle Heights a little more than a century ago. But is it a place that remembers and relishes her life and talent today?



  • Rudy Martinez - member of Advisory Board of the Boyle Heights Historical Society