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Louis Armstrong (1901–1971) was among the most influential musicians in jazz history. His career as a trumpeter and vocalist spanned five decades and several eras.

Born in New Orleans, he started out as a trumpet and cornet player. Moving to Chicago and then to New York in the 1920s while playing with various orchestras, he emerged as a singer with his trademark gravelly voice in the 1930s, and Armstrong finally became a successful solo and recording artist. During the next two decades, he appeared on radio, film and television regularly, landing a huge number of evergreen hits. His influence spread from jazz into popular music and mainstream culture.