Billie Holiday

Traditional pop music, Musical Artist

1915 – 1959

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Who was Billie Holiday?

Billie Holiday was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

Critic John Bush wrote that Holiday "changed the art of American pop vocals forever." She co-wrote only a few songs, but several of them have become jazz standards, notably "God Bless the Child", "Don't Explain", "Fine and Mellow", and "Lady Sings the Blues". She also became famous for singing "Easy Living", "Good Morning Heartache", and "Strange Fruit", a protest song which became one of her standards and was made famous with her 1939 recording. Music critic Robert Christgau called her "uncoverable, possibly the greatest singer of the century".

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Born
Apr 7, 1915
Philadelphia
Also known as
  • Billy Holliday
  • Eleanora Fagan Gough
  • Elinore Harris
  • billie_holiday
  • Lady Day
  • Eleanora Fagan
Parents
Religion
  • Catholicism
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Lived in
  • Baltimore
Died
Jul 17, 1959
New York City

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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