Billie Holiday

Birth Name
Eleanora Fagan
Date of Birth
7 April 1915
Birth Town
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

A jazz singer who was later called Billie Holiday, nicknamed “lady day” by her music partner and friend Lester Young, having had a strong influence on pop and jazz music. Her vocal pattern greatly motivated by jazz instrumentalists set the stage for a new model of raising tempos and phrasing. She was famous for her extemporisation and vocal delivery artistry, which made up for her confined range and lack of formal education in music.

National Inheritance

Billie has one of the most unique voices ever heard. Her style of music continues to motivate singers years after her death in 1959. Billie became famous after she recorded a song called strange fruit in 1939. The song was a protest song about the killing of African-Americans. The reoccurring vocal offers a strong illustration of her incredible gift, the ability to pass emotion.

Phil Schaap who was a curator of jazz at the Lincoln center said that Billie “talks to your heart.”  She gets to your ear, she can reach your mind, and she carries this out with emotional prowess. She is beyond words; she is a genius.

The emotional prowess of Billie’s vocals emanates from the manner she sings the melodies. It’s all about phrasing and rhythm, which she learned from paying attention to the best.

She was born in Philadelphia and raised in Baltimore. As a girl she fancied music, and her icons were blues singer Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong.

Billie has a lot of stories to tell, and plenty of sorrows to fill up a songbook. She was addicted to heroin for years, a spell in the federal prison and cases of contumelious relationships with male counterparts whilst still only being 44 years old when she passed away.

Schaap says a lot of attention was placed on the unfortunate aspects of her life and a little focus on the mind-blowing parts of her voice.

She invents and swings “He says” she is an innovator. She can make things on the fly; she can make you listen to the rhythm if it is absent and make them perform better if they exist. And that’s just it. I think Billie is the greatest.

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