Joyce Bryant, 1954.
Photographer: Phillipe Halsman
(With the perfect hourglass figure, backless dresses and silver tinted hair, jazz singer Joyce Bryant became known as “The Bronze Blonde Bombshell.”
Although the Oakland, California native was raised in a strict Seventh Day Adventist home, she made her way to the stage in 1940. It was there she gained national and international acclaim for her earthy, sultry tone and figure flattering costumes. (It was rumored that Bryant’s dresses were so tight that she had to be carried off stage at the end of her performances.)
But Bryant’s sex appeal didn’t always work to her advantage; while the artist was called the “black Marilyn Monroe” her records were often banned from radio waves for being too suggestive.)