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

Billie Holiday Biography (BBC)

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.

Billie Holiday Biography (Wikipedia)

Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Holiday was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education. While there were other jazz singers with equal talent, Billie Holiday had a voice that captured the attention of her audience.

After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs around Harlem. After being heard by producer John Hammond, who commended her voice, Holiday was signed to Brunswick Records in 1935. Collaborations with Teddy Wilson yielded the hit "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which would later become a jazz standard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday booked mainstream success with labels such as Columbia Records and Decca Records. By the late 1940s, however, Holiday was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, Holiday performed a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. However, due to her drug and alcohol problems, her reputation deteriorated.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Billie Holiday Audio & Video


Billie Holiday Tracks

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Billie Holiday
Our Love Is Here To Stay
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Our Love Is Here To Stay
Billie Holiday
Cheek To Cheek
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Cheek To Cheek
Billie Holiday
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
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Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Billie Holiday
It's Easy To Remember
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It's Easy To Remember
Billie Holiday
Summertime
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Summertime
Billie Holiday
Good Morning Heartache
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Good Morning Heartache
Billie Holiday
Gloomy Sunday
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Gloomy Sunday
Billie Holiday
That Ole Devil Called Love
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That Ole Devil Called Love
Billie Holiday
God Bless The Child
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God Bless The Child
Billie Holiday
Spreadin' Rhythm Around
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Spreadin' Rhythm Around
Billie Holiday
I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
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I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
Billie Holiday
P.S. I Love You
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P.S. I Love You
Billie Holiday
I'll Be Seeing You
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I'll Be Seeing You
Billie Holiday
Stars Fell On Alabama
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Stars Fell On Alabama
Richard Rodgers
Blue Moon
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Blue Moon
Billie Holiday
Fine and Mellow
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Fine and Mellow
Billie Holiday
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
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On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Teddy Wilson Orchestra, Billie Holiday & Lester Young
Never Be The Same
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Never Be The Same
Billie Holiday
Don't Explain
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Don't Explain
Billie Holiday
Crazy He Calls Me
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Crazy He Calls Me
Billie Holiday
These Foolish Things
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These Foolish Things
Billie Holiday
April In My Heart
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April In My Heart
Billie Holiday
Let's Dream In The Moonlight
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Let's Dream In The Moonlight
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