|Year of Birth:||1949|
Leona Mitchell (born October 13, 1949, Enid, Oklahoma) is an American operatic soprano and an Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inductee. She is also a Grammy Award-winning soprano who sang for 18 seasons as a leading spinto soprano at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
In her home state of Oklahoma, Ms Mitchell has been awarded many honors. These include the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Her home town of Enid has a street named after her called Leona Mitchell Boulevard, as well as a Museum named in her honor called "The Leona Mitchell Southern Heights Heritage Center and Museum".
Governor Brad Henry of Oklahoma made her Oklahoma's State Cultural Ambassador. In late 2014, Miss Mitchell was inducted into the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame.
Mitchell started singing at an early age in the choir of the Antioch Church of God in Christ in Enid, where her father, Reverend Dr. Hulon Mitchell, was the Minister along with her mother, Dr. Pearl Mitchell, who was the pianist. Leona is the tenth child of Hulon and Pearl Mitchell; there were 15 children born to this union. Leona's mother went back to school, with her last two sons in high school, and became a Practical Nurse. Leona is the sister of Yahweh ben Yahweh (born as Hulon Mitchell Jr.).
Mitchell received a BA in music from Oklahoma City University and went on to graduate studies at The Juilliard School of Music in New York.