Billie Holiday

~ Person

Legal name: Eleanora Fagan

Wikipedia

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. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education. There were other jazz singers with equal talent, but Holiday had a voice that captured the attention of her audience.

After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem, where she was heard by the producer John Hammond, who commended her voice. She signed a recording contract with Brunswick Records in 1935. Collaborations with Teddy Wilson yielded the hit "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which became a jazz standard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday had mainstream success on labels such as Columbia Records and Decca Records. By the late 1940s, however, she was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, she performed a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, but her reputation deteriorated because of her drug and alcohol problems.

Though she was a successful concert performer throughout the 1950s with two further sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall, Holiday's bad health, coupled with a string of abusive relationships and ongoing drug and alcohol abuse, caused her voice to wither. Her final recordings were met with mixed reaction to her damaged voice but were mild commercial successes. Her final album, Lady in Satin, was released in 1958. Holiday died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1959. A posthumous album, Last Recording, was released following her death.

Much of Holiday's material has been rereleased since her death. She is considered a legendary performer with an ongoing influence on American music. She is the recipient of four Grammy awards, all of them posthumous awards for Best Historical Album. Holiday herself was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1973. Lady Sings the Blues, a film about her life, starring Diana Ross, was released in 1972. She is the primary character in the play and later film Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill; the role was originated by Reenie Upchurch in 1986, and played by Audra McDonald on Broadway (she received a Tony Award for her performance) and in the film.

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Discography

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Billie's Blues Billie Holiday 1
Billie's Lovesongs Billie Holiday 1
Body & Soul Billie Holiday 1
Broadcast Performances, Volume 3 Billie Holiday 1
Cheek to Cheek Billie Holiday 1
Collection Billie Holiday 1
Complete Recordings Billie Holiday & Lester Young 1
Day In, Day Out Billie Holiday 1
Digitally Remastered Billie Holiday 1
Don't Explain Billie Holiday 1
Easy Living 1935-1939 Billie Holiday 1
Easy To Love Billie Holiday 1
Fantastic Billie Holiday 1
Feeling Swing Billie Holiday 1
Fine & Mellow Billie Holiday 1
Fine & Mellow: Original Recordings, Volume 2: 1936-1941 Billie Holiday 1
Fine and Mellow Billie Holiday 1
Giants of Jazz Billie Holiday 1
God Bless the Child Billie Holiday 1
God Bless the Child (The Very Best of) Billie Holiday 1
Golden Classics Billie Holiday 1
Golden Greats Billie Holiday 1
Golden Hits Billie Holiday 1
Good Morning Heartache Billie Holiday 1
Greatest Hits, Volume 1 Billie Holiday 1
Greatest Hits, Volume 2 Billie Holiday 1
Happy Billie Billie Holiday 1
Her Finest Studio Recordings Billie Holiday 1
Holiday Blues Billie Holiday 1
I Giganti Jazz & Pop Billie Holiday 1
In the Dark Billie Holiday 1
Lady Day (1939-1944) The Sixteen Original Commodore Interpretations Billie Holiday 1
Lady Day swings! Billie Holiday 1
Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday Billie Holiday 1
Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holiday 1
Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holiday 1
Legendary Unissued & Rare Masters (1952-58) Billie Holiday 1
Legends Billie Holiday 1
Love for Sale Billie Holiday 1
Love Songs (1935-1942) Billie Holiday 1
Loveless Love Billie Holiday 1
Lover Man Billie Holiday 1
Masters of Jazz Billie Holiday 1
Memories of Lady Day Billie Holiday 1
My Greatest Songs Billie Holiday 1
My Man (1935-1937) Billie Holiday 1
Nothing But the Truth Billie Holiday 1
Priceless Jazz Collection Billie Holiday 1
Singin' the Blues Billie Holiday 1
Spotlight on Billie Holiday Billie Holiday 1
Strange Fruit Billie Holiday 1
Strange Fruit Billie Holiday 1
Strange Fruit, Part 1 Billie Holiday 1
Summertime: Platinum Collection 1 Billie Holiday 1
Summertime: Platinum Collection 2 Billie Holiday 1
Tell Me More Billie Holiday 1
That Old Devil Called Love Again Billie Holiday 1
The Best of Billie Holiday Billie Holiday 1
The Billie Holiday Story Billie Holiday 1
The Billie Holiday Story Billie Holiday 1
The Collection: Billie Holiday Billie Holiday 1
The Definitive Collection 1939-1948 Billie Holiday 1
The Essential Billie Holiday Billie Holiday 1
The Essential Billie Holiday Billie Holiday 1
The Essential Billie Holiday: Songs of Lost Love Billie Holiday 1
The Finest Billie Holiday 1
The Gold Collection Billie Holiday 1
The Great Billie Holiday Billie Holiday 1
The Great Jazz Vocalists Billie Holiday 1
The Immortal Lady Day, Volume 1 Billie Holiday 1
The Incomparable, Volume 4 Billie Holiday 1
The Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holiday 1
The Legendary Billie Holiday Billie Holiday 1
The Man I Love Billie Holiday 1
The Masters Billie Holiday 1
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Volume 2 Billie Holiday 1
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Volume 3: 1936-1937 Billie Holiday 1
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Volume 4: 1937 Billie Holiday 1
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Volume 5: 1937-1938 Billie Holiday 1
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Volume 6: 1938 Billie Holiday 1
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Volume 7: 1938-1939 Billie Holiday 1
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Volume 8: 1939-1940 Billie Holiday 1
The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Volume 9: 1940-1942 Billie Holiday 1
The Voice of Jazz Billie Holiday 1
The Voice of Jazz: The Complete Recordings 1933-1940 Billie Holiday 1
This Is Jazz 15 Billie Holiday 1
Time on My Hands Billie Holiday 1
Timeless Treasures Billie Holiday 1
Ultimate Legends Billie Holiday 1
Viva! Jazz Diva! Billie Holiday 1
Vocal Jazz Billie Holiday 1
Vol. 2 "Long Gone Blues" Billie Holiday 1
Willow Weep For Me Billie Holiday 1
With Tony Scott and His Orchestra Billie Holiday 1
Yesterdays Billie Holiday 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2007 Rare Live Recordings 1934-1959 Billie Holiday 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1986 At Monterey 1958 Billie Holiday 1
1989 The Essential Billie Holiday: Carnegie Hall Concert Billie Holiday 2
1995 The Essential Billie Holiday: Live at Carnegie Hall Billie Holiday 1
2001 The Gold Collection: 40 Classic Performances Billie Holiday 1

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