Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan Gough, Philadelphia, PA, April 7, 1915 – New York City, NY, July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter.
Nicknamed Lady Day by her loyal friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday was a highly original influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Above all, she was admired for her deeply personal and intimate approach to singing. Read more on Last.fm
2015 Billie Holiday At Jazz At the Philharmonic (Expanded Edition) [Live]
2015 God Bless the Child: Best of Billie Holiday
2015 The Centennial Collection
2011 Lady Sings the Blues
2009 The Complete Commodore & Decca Masters
2007 At Newport (Expanded Edition)
2007 The Definitive Collection
2007 Billie Holiday Remixed & Reimagined
2005 The Complete Verve Studio Master Takes
2005 Gold: Billie Holiday
2005 Billy Remembers Billie
2002 Billie Holiday for Lovers
2002 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Billie Holiday
2001 The Best Collection: Gershwin
2000 The Commodore Master Takes (1939-44)
2000 Ken Burns Jazz: Billie Holiday
1999 V Disc: A Musical Contribution By America's Best (For Our Armed Forces Overseas)
1998 Priceless Jazz Collection: More Billie Holiday
1997 The Complete Commodore Recordings
1996 Love Songs: Billie Holiday
1995 Billie Holiday's Greatest Hits
1994 Jazz 'Round Midnight: Billie Holiday
1992 The Complete Billie Holiday On Verve 1945-1959
1991 Lady In Autumn: The Best of the Verve Years
1991 The Complete Decca Recordings
1990 The Billie Holiday Songbook
1988 Billie's Blues
1980 Billie, Ella, Lena, Sarah
1961 The Essential Billie Holiday: Carnegie Hall Concert Recorded Live
1959 Billie Holiday
1958 Lady In Satin
1958 At Newport (Live)
1958 The Blues Are Brewin'
1958 Lady In Satin (The Centennial Edition)
1958 Lady In Satin
1958 Lover Man
1958 All or Nothing At All
1958 Stay With Me
1957 Body and Soul
1957 Songs for Distingué Lovers
1957 Billie Holiday
1956 The Lady Sings
1956 Velvet Mood
1955 Music for Torching
1954 Billie Holiday At Jazz At the Philharmonic (Live)
1953 An Evening With Billie Holiday
1945 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 8
1940 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 9
1940 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 10
1939 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 6
1938 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 5
1937 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 3
1937 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 4
1937 A Musical Romance
1936 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 2
1936 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 7
1935 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia (1933-1944)
1935 The Essential Billie Holiday
1933 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 1
Sep 28, 2017
The Legacy of Billie Holiday’s "God Bless the Child," 75 years later
Sep 17, 2017
Billie gets her own stamp on September 17, 1994 as part of the US Postal Service Legends of American Music, Jazz and Blues Singers series!
Sep 13, 2017
Aug 21, 2017
"I never planned in my imagination
A situation so heavenly
A fairy land where no one else could enter
And in the center just you and me"
"Stars Fell On Alabama" from 1957's Songs For Distingue Lovers
Aug 11, 2017
"We may never never meet again, on that bumpy road to love
Still I'll always, always keep the memory of..."
Another wonderful gem from Billie's 1957 album Body and Soul.
Jul 25, 2017
"My heart is sad and lonely
For you I sigh, for you dear only
Why haven't you seen it
I'm all for you body and soul..." #lyrics
"...she remains one of the best jazz singers, not only for her unique sound and attack, but for her straightforward, honest, musical communication." - The Saturday Review on Billie Holiday's Body And Soul, released 60 years ago in 1957.
Jul 17, 2017
We miss you Lady Day, now more than ever.
July 17, 1959 - Billie Holiday died at 3:10 this morning in Metropolitan Hospital as simply and regally as she had lived.
She was young-only 44; yet, as she was quick to point out, neither of her parents lived that long.
She was beautiful; no one who saw her exquisite brown head against the hospital white pillow would dare talk of her loveliness in bygone days.
She was poor; she had 70 cents in the bank,$750 in $50 bills taped to her leg and, with a $50,000 movie contract for her life story waiting for her signature, she was holding out for double or nothing.
She was brave; at the slightest rattle of the oxygen tent, she lunged forward, dukes up, and barked out sharp orders, commanding those about her to slow down to her tempo: “Don’t be in such a hurry.”
She was regal; intrigue marital, musical and political swirled about her bedside; cops and doctors took their turn as her wardens, but she was undisturbed by it all.
She was triumphant; for 15 years the government had paraded her through a whirligig of couts, jail, bail as a horrible example of something called a drug addict; in the end she turned the tables on all of them.
She was proud; she’d attained worldwide acclaim as the greatest jazz singer of all time and that was that.
And she was alone. When her fighting heart gave out at 3:10 this morning, only her special nurse and this reporter were at her bedside.
Billie fought like a tiger to leave Metropolitan Hospital on her feet. Her 46-day stand in room 6A12 was the longest engagement she had played anywhere – except for The Strand Theater on Broadway in 1948 with Count Basie. She had gained almost 30 pounds by last Sunday when complications set in. Her longtime manager Joe Glaser, made arrangements for a transfer to a private hospital; Billie waited for the doctor’s OK which never came.
She had a hat-full of plans for the future; she had started with me on another book; we finished one chapter, and sold it Monday to a magazine. She took the advance cash in fifties and taped them to her leg; on Tuesday evening she fastened a gardenia in her hair and signed a contract to appear in a movie to be shot in New York this fall...
- July 17, 1959 New York Post by William Dufty co-author of Lady Sings The Blues.
Jun 27, 2017
The incomparable Audra McDonald returns as Billie Holiday! The London engagement of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill is now open at the Wyndham’s Theatre. The play with music will run through September 9.
McDonald won her record-breaking sixth Tony Award for her performance as Billie Holiday in the Lanie Robertson play, which offers a glimpse of one of the final performances from the legendary jazz and blues singer before her death in 1959. The Lonny Price-directed production premiered at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre in April 2014.
Jun 06, 2017
Oh you can go to the East, go to the West
But someday you'll come
Weary at heart
Back where you started from
You'll find your happiness lies
Right under your eyes
Back in your own backyard
#TheLeftovers #NowPlaying https://open.spotify.com/track/3IyU1ZVNbJKnZzZuFrqdtv
May 13, 2017
It’s showtime for Lady Day! The famed Apollo Theater will host a one-night-only concert spectacular honoring jazz legend Billie Holiday on May 16. Tickets are on sale at www.apollotheater.com.
Today we celebrate the life of Billie Holiday, born April 7th, 1915! Share with us your favorite photo, song or memory! #HappyBirthdayLadyDay
Mar 20, 2017
"Some other Spring
Will my heart awake
Stirring to sing
Love's magic music..."
Feb 28, 2017
Feb 14, 2017
Embrace me, my sweet embraceable you
Embrace me, you irreplaceable you
Just one look at you
My heart grew tipsy in me
You and you alone
Bring out the gypsy in me
I love all the many charms about you
Above all, I want these arms about you
- Love, Billie Holiday
Feb 03, 2017
The Carnegie Hall Digital Hall of Fame recognizes individuals intrinsic to the founding and continued existence of the Hall and whose lives or careers are inextricably woven into the fabric of the Hall’s history.
Today we induct jazz singer Billie Holiday into the Carnegie Hall Digital Hall of Fame. Holiday made her Carnegie Hall debut on April 2, 1944 and went on to perform at Carnegie Hall 21 times over the next 12 years. During her 1956 two-concert event, she was praised as “the best and most honest jazz singer alive” (Nat Hentoff).
Learn more about Holiday and see who else is included in the 2016–2017 Digital Hall of Fame here: http://bit.ly/2jQAka7
Portrait by Stanley Chow Illustration
Feb 02, 2017
Thank you to all for the million strong monthly listeners at Billie Holiday's Spotify! "God bless the child that's got her own."
Dec 24, 2016
Lady Sings The Blues released this week 60 years ago! From Billboard Magazine's December 22nd, 1956 review, "Lady Sings The Blues is the title of the singer's recently published autobiography, and the LP offers a worthy musical complement to it".
Billie Holiday's Lady Sings The Blues, released in 1956, is finally in the Grammy Hall Of Fame. Thank you to the Recording Academy for accepting this landmark album that included Lady Day classics like "Strange Fruit", "God Bless The Child" and "Good Morning Heartache".
What's your favorite Lady Sings The Blues song?
#GrammyHallOfFame #LadySingsTheBlues #NowPlaying
Nov 24, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving! Celebrate with Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Lee Morgan, and more with a playlist crafted for this very day. Enjoy Wynton Marsalis Presents Jazz For Thanksgiving (including Billie's "Autumn In New York"): #NowPlaying: http://ow.ly/rMZC306qEzx
Nov 10, 2016
“Lady Sings The Blues at Carnegie Hall – The Songs and Story of Miss Billie Holiday”. On this day in 1956, in support of her new Lady Sings The Blues autobiography and album, Billie plays two sold out shows at Carnegie Hall. Gilbert Millstein of The New York Times reads passages from the book with Billie stepping in to sing a career spanning set list of her fabled songs including debuting "Lady Sings The Blues". Listen to Billie’s final Carnegie Hall appearance at Spotify: smarturl.it/LiveCarnegieHall
"Throughout the night, Billie was in superior form to what had sometimes been the case in the last years of her life. Not only was there assurance of phrasing and intonation; but there was also an outgoing warmth, a palpable eagerness to reach and touch the audience. And there was mocking wit. A smile was often lightly evident on her lips and her eyes as if, for once, she could accept the fact that there were people who did dig her. The beat flowed in her uniquely sinuous, supple way of moving the story along; the words became her own experiences; and coursing through it all was Lady's sound – a texture simultaneously steel-edged and yet soft inside; a voice that was almost unbearably wise in disillusion and yet still childlike, again at the centre. The audience was hers from before she sang, greeting her and saying good-bye with heavy, loving applause. And at one time, the musicians too applauded. It was a night when Billie was on top, undeniably the best and most honest jazz singer alive." – Nat Hentoff from Downbeat Magazine
Oct 27, 2016
"If you hear a song in blue
Like a flower crying for the dew
That was my heart serenading you
My prelude to a kiss"