Considered the "Queen of American Folk Music," Odetta has introduced audiences worldwide to American roots music andespecially African-American folk, blues and gospel. As a major voice in the American Civil Rights Movement, shemarched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, sang for the masses in Washington in 1963, and performed forPresident John F. Kennedy at a civil rights presentation on national television.
She has shared the stage with Paul Robeson, Nina Simone, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and many others. HarryBelafonte once said, "Odetta is a vast influence on our cultural life."
On September 29, 1999, President Bill Clinton presented Odetta with the National Endowment for the Arts’ Medal of theArts.