Eva Marie Cassidy (February 2, 1963 — November 2, 1996) was an American vocalist known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country and pop classics. In 1992 she released her first album, The Other Side, a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown, followed by a live solo album, Live at Blues Alley in 1996.
Although she had been honored by the Washington Area Music Association, she was virtually unknown outside her native Washington, DC when she died of melanoma in 1996. Four years later, Cassidy’s music was brought to the attention of British audiences when her version of “Over the Rainbow” was played by Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2. Following the overwhelming response, a camcorder recording of “Over the Rainbow”, taken at the Blues Alley, was shown on BBC Two’s Top of the Pops 2.
Shortly afterward, the compilation album Songbird climbed to the top of the UK Albums Charts, almost three years after its initial release. The chart success in the United Kingdom and Ireland led to increased recognition worldwide; as of 2008 her posthumously released recordings, including three UK #1s, have sold around eight million copies. Her music has also charted top 10 positions in Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.