How about Edith Piaf? My Gran had her records and I fell in love with her voice even though I hadn't a clue what she was singing about cause I didn't speak Fench then.
Now I have read her biography and have a lot of her CDs. Edith ROCKED! Puts all the pop tarts to shame and did everything they do but 60 years ago! And with so much more style! I also love Ella Fitzgerald - my Gran had her recors too.