Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Harris April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) 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.

Read more about Billie Holiday:  Voice, Hit Records, Discography, Filmography

Famous quotes by billie holiday:

    Southern trees bear a strange fruit
    Blood on the leaf and blood at the root
    Black bodies swingin’ in the southern breeze
    Strange fruit hangin’ in the poplar trees.
    Billie Holiday [Eleanor Fagan] (1915–1959)

    In this country, don’t forget, a habit is no damn private hell. There’s no solitary confinement outside of jail. A habit is hell for those you love. And in this country it’s the worst kind of hell for those who love you.
    Billie Holiday (1915–1959)

    Billie Holiday’s burned voice
    had as many shadows as lights,
    a mournful candelabra against a sleek piano,
    the gardenia her signature under that ruined face.
    ...
    If you can’t be free, be a mystery.
    Rita Dove (b. 1952)

    If you think dope is for kicks and for thrills, you’re out of your mind. There are more kicks to be had in a good case of paralytic polio or by living in an iron lung. If you think you need stuff to play music or sing, you’re crazy. It can fix you so you can’t play nothing or sing nothing.
    Billie Holiday (1915–1959)

    Mama may have, papa may have,
    But God bless the child that’s got his own!
    Billie Holiday [Eleanor Fagan] (1915–1959)