Margaret Whiting, a longtime singer of jazz, pop and country standards perhaps best known for her duet, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Johnny Mercer, died of natural causes Monday (Jan. 10) in Englewood, N.J, her daughter confirmed to the New York Times. She was 86.
Born Margaret Eleanor Whiting on July 22, 1924 in Detroit, Whiting began her career in the 1940's big band scene and soon became a favorite interpreter of the Great American Songbook, performing with bands led by Freddie Slack and Billy Butterfield, among others, and singing on U.S.O. tours during World War II and the Korean War.
Whiting was signed to Capitol Records as a teenager by co-founder Johnny Mercer, who wrote songs with her father, composer Richard Whiting ("On the Good Ship Lollipop," "Hooray for Hollywood"). "Baby, It's Cold Outside," Whiting and Mercer's 1949 duet, reached No. 3 on Billboard's Most Played by Disc Jockeys chart.