Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan; 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.
Holiday was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Sarah Julia "Sadie" Fagan and Clarence Holiday. Her father, a musician, did not marry or live with her mother. Not long after Holiday's birth, Clarence left her and her mother to pursue a career as a jazz guitarist. Sarah had moved to Philadelphia aged 19, after being ejected from her parents' home in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland for becoming pregnant. With no support from her parents, Holiday's mother arranged for the young Holiday to stay with her older married half-sister, Eva Miller, who lived in Baltimore. Holiday, who was of...
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