An American Blues Singer.
Billie Holiday has been considered one of the greatest jazz singers of all time.
Her distinct delivery made Billie Holiday's performances instantly recognizable throughout her career. Her voice lacked range and was somewhat thin, plus years of abuse eventually altered the texture of her voice and gave it a prepossessing fragility.
Named "Lady Day" by Lester Young, Billie Holiday is as popular as ever.
Her Story played by Diana Ross in ’THE LADY SINGS THE BLUES’ was well
documented as are books and filmology.
Discovered in Harlem by John Hammond, her career started with her recording with Benny Goodman later singing with Teddy Wilson, Louis Armstrong etc.
Her father played guitar with the ’Fletcher Henderson Orchestra’.
She also worked with Count Basie and Lester Young.
Holidays personal life has been said to be turbulent, just as the songs that she sang. Drug use came into her life in the early 40's.
In 1947 she was jailed for drug charges and served several months.
After being jailed her New York City Cabaret Card was revoked and stopped her from working in clubs for 12 years which were her best years.
Holiday was never free of the drugs.
She also had a relationship with actor Orson Welles.
Diana Ross played Holiday in the film "Lady Sings The Blues".
On May 31, 1959, she was taken to Metropolitan Hospital in New York suffering from liver and heart disease.
Police officers were stationed at the door to her room. She was arrested for drug possession as she lay dying and her hospital room was raided by authorities.
Holiday remained under police guard at the hospital until she died from cirrhosis of the liver on July 17, 1959. Aged 44 years.
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