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From Everything.Sucks

Norma Deloris Egstrom (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002), known professionally as Peggy Lee, was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress, over a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, Lee created a sophisticated persona, writing music for films, acting, and recording conceptual reco

James Gavin, author of a drama-packed new biography about Peggy Lee mentioned the sad and troubled life of the sex kitten songstress, "She was a very frightened woman. She hated to be alone. She would have staff stay talking to her in bed until she fell asleep, often not until the early hours of the morning.

She would fill that emptiness with sex, if she could. Peggy Lee put the moves on men and had a lot of short affairs. She seduced many of her musicians and if her prey had wives so much the better.

Lee claimed to have had a nightmare childhood after her mother died when she was just four years old.

She lamented enduring an emotionally distant father and an abusive stepmother who beat her daily, hit her over the head with a frying pan, whipped and kicked her and dragged her around by the hair, says Gavin. She recalled trying to poison herself by drinking bleach.

But that was just the mythology that she created around herself. I found her close childhood friend from North Dakota who saw Lee daily and she recalled no bruises, no cuts and no black eyes. Lee never mentioned any beatings as a child.

But Peggy Lee came to believe her own stories. I have no doubt that her father was emotionally unavailable and her stepmother was cold but it was Lee's insecurities that transformed her childhood into an abusive fantasy."

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