"Eva Marie Cassidy" (February 2, 1963 in Oxon Hill, Maryland – November 2, 1996 in Bowie, Maryland) was an American vocalist described by the British newspaper ''The Guardian'' as "one of the greatest voices of her generation". Although possessing a soulful voice, an extraordinary range, and a diverse repertoire of jazz, blues, folk, gospel and pop, she still remained virtually unknown outside of her native Washington, DC, when she died of melanoma in 1996. However, her posthumously released recordings have since sold in excess of four million copies, and in early 2001 the compilation album ''Songbird'' reached #1 on the UK album charts.
Eva Cassidy was the third of four children born to Hugh and Barbara Cassidy. From an early age, she displayed exceptional artistic and musical talent. When she was nine years old, her father bought her a guitar, and she began to play at family gatherings with her musical siblings.
Early on in her life, Eva almost died when she slipped in between the railings of her cot.