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Anne Wiggins Brown was an African American soprano singer known for her role as “Bess” in the original production of “Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin.

Brown is acknowledged as the inspiration that caused Gershwin to keep adding songs for her character in a process that turned “Porgy” into “Porgy and Bess.” She is also his inspiration for the song “Summertime.” Brown would perform the role of Bess over 600 times.