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Billie Holiday
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1915-04-07
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/d59c4cda-11d9-48db-8bfe-b557ee602aed
Billie Holiday Billie Holiday Billie Holiday Billie Holiday

Biography

Few singers in jazz history had the ability to inject as much emotion into a song as Billie Holiday. From her subtle changes in the melody and timing of a piece to her ability to inject sorrow, heartache, and also ...

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Biography

Few singers in jazz history had the ability to inject as much emotion into a song as Billie Holiday. From her subtle changes in the melody and timing of a piece to her ability to inject sorrow, heartache, and also joy and enthusiasm into a lyric, she brought a unique, personal interpretation to dozens of songs.

She also co-wrote some numbers, including Fine and Mellow and God Bless the Child, and she made headlines singing Strange Fruit, a protest song about a Southern lynching. One reason she was capable of such intense experession in her singing was the sorrow and hardship of her own life.

Growing up on the poverty line in a single parent family, she had experienced abuse and prostitution by her mid-teens. At eighteen she was singing in New York, when entrepreneur John Hammond encouraged her to record with Benny Goodman. She went on to make dozens of small band discs, the majority with pianist Teddy Wilson, which are small miracles of the swing era.

She sang at Barney Josephson's Cafe Society club in Greenwich Village, and specialised in haunting ballads. Although she fronted both Count Basie's and Artis Shaw's big bands for short period, she was at her best with just a rhythm section. From the early 1940s her life was a constant battle with drug addiction, plus a series of tempestuous relationships with her husbands or long-term male partners.

By the 1950s, her voice could sound careworn and world-weary, but she maintained the ability to project raw emotion, right up to the end of her short life. Musically, she formed a particularly successful partnership with tenorist Lester Young and their recordings together show the strong empathy between them.

Clips (3)


Tracks (42)

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Billie Holiday
Blue Moon
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Blue Moon Blue Moon Blue Moon Blue Moon
Billie Holiday
Fine and Mellow
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Fine and Mellow Fine and Mellow Fine and Mellow Fine and Mellow
Billie Holiday
Don’t Explain
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Don’t Explain Don’t Explain Don’t Explain Don’t Explain
Billie Holiday
Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do
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Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do
Billie Holiday
Lover Come Back To Me
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Lover Come Back To Me Lover Come Back To Me Lover Come Back To Me Lover Come Back To Me
Billie Holiday
I'm A Fool To Want You
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I'm A Fool To Want You I'm A Fool To Want You I'm A Fool To Want You I'm A Fool To Want You
Cozy Cole, Roy Eldridge, John Trueheart, Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday plus band, John Kirby & Billie Holiday
What a Little Moonlight Can Do
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What a Little Moonlight Can Do What a Little Moonlight Can Do What a Little Moonlight Can Do What a Little Moonlight Can Do
Billie Holiday
They Can't Take That Away From Me
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They Can't Take That Away From Me They Can't Take That Away From Me They Can't Take That Away From Me They Can't Take That Away From Me
Billie Holiday
I'll Be Seeing You
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I'll Be Seeing You I'll Be Seeing You I'll Be Seeing You I'll Be Seeing You
Billie Holiday
Solitude
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Solitude Solitude Solitude Solitude
Billie Holiday
Georgia On My Mind
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Georgia On My Mind Georgia On My Mind Georgia On My Mind Georgia On My Mind
Billie Holiday
Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)
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Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)
Billie Holiday
I Wished On The Moon
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I Wished On The Moon I Wished On The Moon I Wished On The Moon I Wished On The Moon
Billie Holiday
One For My Baby
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One For My Baby One For My Baby One For My Baby One For My Baby
Billie Holiday
Comes Love
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Comes Love Comes Love Comes Love Comes Love
Billie Holiday
I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues 1939
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I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues 1939 I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues 1939 I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues 1939 I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues 1939
Billie Holiday
Say It Isn't So
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Say It Isn't So Say It Isn't So Say It Isn't So Say It Isn't So
Billie Holiday
Body And Soul
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Body And Soul Body And Soul Body And Soul Body And Soul
Frankie Newton and His Orchestra, Sonny White & Billie Holiday
Strange Fruit
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Strange Fruit Strange Fruit Strange Fruit Strange Fruit
Pat Nizza, Bernie Privin, Johnny Mince, Joe Benjamin, Louis Armstrong, Billy Kyle, Sid Cooper, Art Drelinger, Everett Barksdale, Billie Holiday and Louis Amstrong with Sy Oliver’s Orchestra, Jimmy Crawford & Billie Holiday
My Sweet Hunk O' Trash
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My Sweet Hunk O' Trash My Sweet Hunk O' Trash My Sweet Hunk O' Trash My Sweet Hunk O' Trash

My Sweet Hunk O' Trash

Composer
Billie Holiday and Louis Amstrong with Sy Oliver’s Orchestra
Billie Holiday
Jeepers Creepers
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Jeepers Creepers Jeepers Creepers Jeepers Creepers Jeepers Creepers
Clark Terry, Tony Scott Orchestra, Freddie Green, Count Basie Septet with Billie Holiday, Gus Johnson, Jimmy Lewis, Marshall Royal, Wardell Gray & Billie Holiday
God Bless The Child
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God Bless The Child God Bless The Child God Bless The Child God Bless The Child
Billie Holiday & Billie Holiday
All of Me
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All of Me All of Me All of Me All of Me
Billie Holiday
I'm Gonna Lock My Heart And Throw Away The Key
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I'm Gonna Lock My Heart And Throw Away The Key I'm Gonna Lock My Heart And Throw Away The Key I'm Gonna Lock My Heart And Throw Away The Key I'm Gonna Lock My Heart And Throw Away The Key
Billie Holiday & Lester Young
Me, Myself and I
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Me, Myself and I Me, Myself and I Me, Myself and I Me, Myself and I
TEDDY WILSON ORCHESTRA, Lester Young & Billie Holiday
This Year's Kisses
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This Year's Kisses This Year's Kisses This Year's Kisses This Year's Kisses
Billie Holiday
Billie's Blues (I Love My Man)
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Billie's Blues (I Love My Man) Billie's Blues (I Love My Man) Billie's Blues (I Love My Man) Billie's Blues (I Love My Man)
Billie Holiday
Miss Brown To You
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Miss Brown To You Miss Brown To You Miss Brown To You Miss Brown To You
Billie Holiday
Riffin The Scotch
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Riffin The Scotch Riffin The Scotch Riffin The Scotch Riffin The Scotch
Billie Holiday
Stars Fell On Alabama
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Stars Fell On Alabama Stars Fell On Alabama Stars Fell On Alabama Stars Fell On Alabama
Billie Holiday
The Very Thought of You
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The Very Thought of You The Very Thought of You The Very Thought of You The Very Thought of You
Arthur Herzog, Jr. & Billie Holiday
God Bless The Child
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God Bless The Child God Bless The Child God Bless The Child God Bless The Child
Billie Holiday
Willow Weep For Me
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Willow Weep For Me Willow Weep For Me Willow Weep For Me Willow Weep For Me
Billie Holiday
Stormy Weather
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Stormy Weather Stormy Weather Stormy Weather Stormy Weather
Billie Holiday
That Ole Devil Called Love
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That Ole Devil Called Love That Ole Devil Called Love That Ole Devil Called Love That Ole Devil Called Love
Billie Holiday
All The Way
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All The Way All The Way All The Way All The Way
Billie Holiday
There'll Be Some Changes Made
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There'll Be Some Changes Made There'll Be Some Changes Made There'll Be Some Changes Made There'll Be Some Changes Made
Billie Holiday
Just One More Chance
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Just One More Chance Just One More Chance Just One More Chance Just One More Chance
Billie Holiday
Deed I Do
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Deed I Do Deed I Do Deed I Do Deed I Do
Billie Holiday & Teddy Wilson Orchestra
What A Little Moonlight Can Do
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What A Little Moonlight Can Do What A Little Moonlight Can Do What A Little Moonlight Can Do What A Little Moonlight Can Do
Billie Holiday & Artie Shaw
Any Old Time
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Any Old Time Any Old Time Any Old Time Any Old Time
Billie Holiday
Why Was I Born
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Why Was I Born Why Was I Born Why Was I Born Why Was I Born
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