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Ja'Net DuBois and Cab Calloway

Source: Getty / Getty

We were saddened to report of the passing of actress and singer Ja’Net Dubois. As with most stories in the frantic news cycle, I assumed that people would post a few clips of DuBois’ illustrious career, share encouraging words and, as callous as it sounds, move on.

But some new and very interesting information about Ms. DuBois just came to light. And as a result, her name is back in the headlines again.

According to TMZ, DuBois’ family believes that the legendary jazz singer, dancer, and band leader Cabell “Cab” Calloway, was her father.

DuBois’ official death certificate was released this week. And in addition to noting that she died of cardiac arrest, the document also listed that her father was legendary jazz singer, dancer and bandleader Cabell “Cab” Calloway.

The document said the late actress, who was born Jeannette Theresa DuBois, was also known as Jeannette T. Calloway-DuBois.

Cab Calloway was a swing era artist known for his many appearances at Harlem’s historic Cotton Club. Calloway is perhaps best known as the “hi-de-ho” man in the 1931 song “Minnie the Moocher.”

But the identity of DuBois’ father has yet to be truly confirmed. In every record, DuBois’ father is listed as Gordon DuBois and her mother Lillian Gouedy.

Ja’Net’s daughter provided the information for the death certificate. Interestingly, her daughter, Dr. Kesha B. Grupta-Fields, listed her mother’s race as “malato.”

When asked to clarify the discrepancy between DuBois’ birth and death certificate, Grupta-Fields said, Gordon was married to Lillian and was instrumental in raising her mother. Essentially, he was a stepfather.

Calloway died in 1994 at 86-years-old. His estate claims to have had no knowledge about the possible relation.

They told TMZ, “While we have a great appreciation for Ja’Net DuBois’ long and successful career, the Calloway Estate has nothing to add to this single document that has numerous mistakes and no verification.”

In regards to those mistakes, the estate says there are multiple birth places and dates listed for Ja’Net online. But they claim they are willing to have an open conversation with DuBois’ family to determine if there are any “compelling facts” to substantiate their claim.

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