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Billie Holiday



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 improvisation skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education. 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...

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Recently Played on ABC Jazz.

8:23pm Sep 19
album cover
ArtistBillie Holiday
AlbumGreatest Hits
LabelColumbia Records
1:39pm Sep 18
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SongLet's Call The Whole Thing Off
ArtistBillie Holiday
AlbumSongs For Distingue Lovers
9:08am Sep 17
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SongI Cover The Waterfront
ArtistBillie Holiday
AlbumAll Of Me
2:47am Sep 16
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SongJust One Of Those Things
ArtistBillie Holiday
AlbumSongs For Distingue Lovers
11:43pm Sep 14
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SongYou Don't Know What Love Is
ArtistBillie Holiday
AlbumLady In Satin
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Aug 6, 2009. 12:02pm
Swingwombat recommended this


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On Apr 8, 2011. 8:17am
Christopher Lynch said

Think of superb jazz singers and the extraordinary, spell-binding "Lady Day", springs immediately to mind.
Billie's rendition of "Lover Man" is my personal favourite of that sad ballad, while - to me - her most meaningful piece is "Strange Fruit."
Speaking of "Lover Man", there is an exquisite instrumental version of this on a fairly rare album titled "What's New", by Bill Evans with Jeremy Steig. (Highly recommended for jazz flute aficionados.)

On Dec 21, 2011. 7:53am
Christopher Lynch said

Delighted to see the one and only beautiful Billie on 'the front page' again.
Sure there are almost countless female 'jazz singers' around today. They're musically slick, photogenic and subsequently highly marketable - particularly to part-time jazz listeners - yet the majority of them lack that elusive 'soul' so essential for true greatness. Billie's life was fraught with sadness, but its this factor that made the difference in her recordings. Billie lived through what she sang.

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