88, a life long performer, died on September 25, 2016 in New York City. Dawn was the second youngest child of the celebrated Hampton Family, Indianapolis' jazz dynasty which was awarded the State of Indiana's Governor Arts Award (1991), honored at the Indy Jazz Fest (2000) and featured in the PBS documentary "The Unforgettable Hampton Family" in 2011.
Dawn was a dancer, a singer and a musician who started performing on stage with her family at the age of three. In 1958 Dawn moved to New York City and became the "Queen of Cabaret". "The Lady" delighted audiences with her original compositions and moving interpretations of songs, often bringing audiences to tears. Her love of dance and innate musicality pointed her golden shoes to swing dancing where she inspired a new generation of dancers worldwide.
A celebration of her life is being planned in New York City and around the globe. Dawn Hampton is survived by brothers Slide Hampton (New Jersey) and Maceo Hampton (Detroit) and several nieces and nephews.
Published in The Indianapolis Star on Oct. 16, 2016.