Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz and swing music singer. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner, Lester Young, Holiday had an innovative 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.

The Pain and Pleasure of Billie Holiday

The incomparable Billie Holiday had a voice like no other. Her singing captures the  fullness and depth of life with all it’s sadness, joy, anger, hope, love, fear and excitement.

Billie grew up in Baltimore. Her father was a jazz guitarist. Initially, she turned tricks for a living before moving to New York City with her mother. She then joined and recorded with Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington.