Eva Cassidy ( 1963 – 1996) was an American singer and guitarist. She had a diverse repertoire of jazz, blues, folk, gospel and pop. Although she had been honoured by the Washington Area Music Association, she was virtually unknown outside her native Washington,D.C. Two years after her death, Cassidy’s music was brought to the attention of British audiences, when her versions of “Fields of Gold” and “Over the Rainbow” were played on BBC Radio 2.
Following the overwhelming response on Radio 2, a black and white video of Cassidy interpreting Somewhere Over The Rainbow was shown on the BBC television show Top Of The Pops 2. The video prompted an unbelievable response, the greatest in the programme’s history. Her posthumously released recordings, including three number-one albums and one number-one single in the UK, have since sold more than ten million copies worldwide.