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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
2005 Billy Remembers Billie (Billy Crystal Selects His Favorite Billie Holiday Music)
2002 Singin' the Blues
2002 Billie Holiday for Lovers
2002 20th Century Masters: Best of Billie Holiday (The Millennium Collection)
2000 The Commodore Master Takes
2000 Billie Holiday: Ken Burns's Jazz
1999 V-Disc: A Music Contribution By America's Best (For Our Armed Forces Overseas)
1999 V Disc: A Musical Contribution By America's Best (For Our Armed Forces Overseas)
1997 Priceless Jazz 2 : Billie Holiday
1997 The Complete Commodore Recordings
1997 Ultimate Billie Holiday
1996 Love Songs: Billie Holiday
1995 Jazz Masters 47: Billie Holiday Sings Standards
1995 Billie Holiday's Greatest Hits
1994 Jazz 'Round Midnight
1994 God Bless the Child
1992 Billie's Best
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 (with Ray Ellis and His Orchestra)
1959 Last Recording
1958 Lady in Satin (The Centennial Edition)
1958 At Newport (Live)
1958 All or Nothing At All
1958 Lady In Satin
1958 Lover Man
1958 The Blues Are Brewin'
1958 Stay With Me
1958 At Newport (Expanded Edition)
1957 Songs for Distingué Lovers
1957 Billie Holiday
1957 Body and Soul
1956 Velvet Mood
1956 The Lady Sings
1955 Music for Torching
1954 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. 4
1937 A Musical Romance
1937 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 3
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)
1933 Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 1
Aug 09, 2019
The Legendary Lady Day is featured on this list of 30 Greatest Voices of All Time, where her iconic vocals on “Lady Sings The Blues” are highlighted.
Aug 08, 2019
75 years ago today, Billie signed to the iconic Decca record label. She was 29 and would stay with the label for 20 years, maturing from a big band vocalist in Chick Webb's band to the most acclaimed jazz singer (and greatest scat singer) around. Learn more about her Decca Records years on uDiscover.
Jul 29, 2019
This edition of This Woman’s Work, a series of stories from Classic Album Sundays features a look at “Lady Sings The Blues” by Billie Holiday. Take a listen as it is noted how “she was completely fearless behind the microphone”.
Jul 23, 2019
On a warm Rhode Island weekend in 1957, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, singing their respective classics like "Lullaby of Birdland”, "Lady Sings the Blues," and "What a Little Moonlight Can Do." On the cusp of the festival’s 65th anniversary, we salute their long lasting tradition of presenting strong female vocalists. Check out Ella Fitzgerald & Billie Holiday At Newport, featuring recordings from the two nights the legendary singers performed on.
Jul 19, 2019
In celebration of Billie's life and legacy, listen to This Is Billie Holiday on Spotify.
May 05, 2019
HOME MOVIE FOOTAGE REQUEST
"BILLIE", a new feature documentary about legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday is currently in production. The film will include never-heard-before interviews, archival footage and stills, and has the backing of The Billie Holiday Estate.
We are looking for home-movie footage of Billie Holiday from between 1929 to 1959 for possible inclusion in the film, from a variety of countries that include the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden and Germany and many more. Such footage will enable us to delve further into Lady Day’s world, showing her candid and private moments.
If you have any moving images such as home-movie footage of Billie Holiday or can point us towards a source who may possess some, New Black Films is keen to hear from you.
We will be offering a negotiable fee for licensing this material. If we elect to use your footage in the film as commercially released, we will pay you a customary fee for a license to so use the footage.
To get in touch, please email: [[email protected]]
Thanks to Billie Holiday fans everywhere!
Mar 09, 2019
Fittingly for the occasion of International Women's Day, the Estate of Billie Holiday would like to thank the City of New York, First Lady McCray and Deputy Mayor Glen for recognizing Ms. Holiday as a part of the She Built NYC initiative. It is an honor to be acknowledged alongside such admired women as Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías and Katherine Walker.
Billie Holiday began singing in Harlem nightclubs at the age of 14. She went on to become one of the greatest voices of her time because her talent and musical innovations were fostered by the New York City jazz scene of the 1930’s and 1940’s. More than 80 years after making her first recording, Billie’s evocative, soulful voice still echoes as a force for good. Although Billie Holiday faced adversity throughout her life, she is remembered for her musical masterpieces, her songwriting skills, creativity and courageous views on inequality and justice.
We hope that this statue of Lady Day and the others that are planned will inspire the women of New York, and elsewhere, to aspire to the greatness that they are capable of despite the challenges that they face.
Feb 14, 2019
“Our Love Is Here to Stay”….Today the new Billie Holiday website and the Official Billie Holiday Merch Store have launched. A fitting gift from Billie Holiday, with love. Check out the new merchandise including t-shirts, magnets and a signature Lady Day pin.
Feb 14, 2019
Feb 13, 2019
Come back tomorrow and see how I’ve changed.
Feb 13, 2019
Billie Holiday's cover photo
Jan 10, 2019
#LadyDay photographed by Burt Goldblatt 1958, possibly Massachusetts but probably Central Park. Lady loved to kick back and her exquisite taste in clothes persists through the ages.
Dec 24, 2018
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.
"I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" by BIllie Holiday
From the Centennial Collection - streaming now at Spotify
Dec 14, 2018
To lean on a piano and sing jazz like Billie Holiday is to truly live.
Nov 16, 2018
62 years ago, minutes before curtain call and nervous for one of the biggest shows of her life, Lady Day is comforted by her husband. The concert would be an autobiographical tour through her astounding life, from scrubbing stairs in Baltimore to selling out Carnegie Hall. Between each song, harrowing passages of both suffering and redemption were read aloud from her just-released book "Lady Sings The Blues". The songs were mostly of her own writing, and if they weren't, they may as well have been, because no one sang them like her. "Billie was on top, undeniably the best and most honest jazz singer alive." - Nat Henthoff.
Listen to the concert now: https://open.spotify.com/album/344uspLK9fvcnmMRz89y94?si=b8MC-PKzQDG5FZf3u_e9YA
Nov 12, 2018
60 years ago today in 1958 #LadyDay played L'Olympia Music Hall in #Paris and gave this sumptuous performance of "Trav'lin' Light" for eternity to cherish. At one point she looks into the camera and you feel as though you know her as a friend.
We look back now and delight in the wisdom of her aging voice and the poignancy of her phrasing. Today we honor and adore those qualities in our elder musical heroes such as Aretha Franklin, Leonard Cohen, Mavis Staples or Tony Bennett. Hard to believe the rest of her French dates were viciously cancelled by the promoter. Despite this she would stay on in Paris and play a small club for a percentage of the door. Billie never backed down.
Nov 08, 2018
Today in 1956, during a TV interview, Lady Day was asked to close her eyes and recite the words to her composition "Don't Explain" like a poet would, without singing. If the lyrics never gave you goosebumps before, they will now. Listen for yourself. https://https://youtu.be/JDl1fkwsDXM?t=163
Hush now, don't explain
O know you raise Cain
I'm glad you're back, don't explain
Quiet, don't explain
You mixed with some dame
Skip that lipstick
You know that I love you
And what love endures
All my thoughts of you
For I'm so completely yours
Cry to hear folks chatter
And I know you cheat
But Right or wrong, don't matter
When you're with me, sweet
Hush now, don't explain
You're my joy and pain
My life's yours, love
Oct 29, 2018
A new publicity shot May 1945, just in time for Billie’s epic run at Club Downbeat, NYC. “Billie Holiday, the thrush, is breaking all 52nd Street records,” lauds critic Walter Winchell.
Oct 15, 2018
In 1957, by varying accounts, photographer Paul J. Hoeffler took this shot either at the Ridge Crest Inn, Rochester New York or Pep's Musical Bar in Philadelphia. Either way, Lady Day is epic!
Oct 05, 2018
Let's put aside her musical and cultural accomplishments for a moment and just say "Wow, look at that gorgeous necklace!" #LadyDay had taste… Forever perfectly in style.
Sep 28, 2018
Sep 14, 2018
She was brave and bold… and invented the modern singing style. #BillieHoliday #LadyDay
Sep 11, 2018
Sep 04, 2018
"I'll be loving you always
With a love that's true always
When the things you plan
Need a helping hand
I will understand always, always
Days may not be fair always
That's when I'll be there always
Not for just an hour
Not for just a day
Not for just a year,
Always from Billie's 1958 album Stay With Me.