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Age44 (age at death)
Birthday 7 April, 1915
Birthplace Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died 17 July, 1959
Place of Death NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan., New York City, New York, USA
Height 5' 5" (165 cm)
Eye Color Black
Hair Color Black
Zodiac Sign Aries
Nationality American
Occupation Singer
Claim to Fame Lady Sings the Blues
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Billie Holiday Singer - Born April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Died July 17, 1959 in New York City, New York, USA (Pulmonary Edema and Heart Failure Caused by Cirrhosis of the Liver)

Birth Name Eleanora Fagan

Nickname Lady Day

Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1) Billie Holiday was a true artist of her day and rose as a social phenomenon in the 1950s. Her soulful, unique singing voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made her a superstar of her time. Today, Holiday is remembered for her masterpieces, creativity and vivacity, as many of Holiday's songs are as well known today as they were decades ago. Holiday's poignant voice is still considered to be one of the greatest jazz voices of all time.

At the age of 18 and after gaining more experience than most adult musicians can claim, Holiday was spotted by John Hammond and cut her first record as part of a studio group led by Benny Goodman, who was then just on the verge of public prominence. In 1935 Holiday's career got a big push when she recorded four sides that went on to become hits, including "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" and "Miss Brown to You." This landed her a recording contract of her own, and then, until 1942, she recorded a number of master tracks that would ultimately become an important building block of early American jazz music.

Holiday recorded about 100 new recordings on another label, Verve, from 1952 to 1959. Her voice became more rugged and vulnerable on these tracks than earlier in her career. During this period, she toured Europe, and made her final studio recordings for the MGM label in March of 1959. Billie Holiday, a musical legend still popular today, died an untimely death at the age of 44. Her emotive voice, innovative techniques and touching songs will forever be remembered and enjoyed

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (3)


Louis McKay (28 March 1957 - 17 July 1959) her death

Joe Guy (1945 - ?) divorced

Jimmy Monroe (25 August 1941 - 1957) divorced

Trade Mark (2)


Gardenia flower in her hair

Unique soulful singing voice

Trivia (27)


She died with 70 cents in the bank and $750 strapped to her leg -- a reminder of her lifelong fear of poverty.

In 1959, narcotic addiction was a crime, not an illness. She was arrested on her deathbed.

Billie had no cabaret card and this kept her from working in New York City clubs for the last 12 years of her life.

Her given name was Eleanora (originally Elinore) -- "Billie" came from silent screen star Billie Dove.

Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1979 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 1991.

Posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 (under the category Early Influence).

Posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "God Bless the Child" (1976), "Strange Fruit" (1978), "Lover Man" (1989) and "Lady In Satin" (2000).

Made her recording debut on "Your Mother's Son-In-Law" (1933) with Benny Goodman.

Was the common-law wife of trumpeter Joe Guy (1951-1957), but they always identified themselves to people as husband and wife. She was separated from her last husband, Louis McKay, at the time of her death.

Her grandfather was one of 17 children born to a black Virginia slave and her white Irish master.

At the time of her birth, her mother, Sarah Harris, was 13. Her father, Clarence Holiday, was 16. It's uncertain if they ever married. Clarence abandoned Sadie when Billie was an infant.

Ranked #6 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll.

Cousin of former boxing champion turned minister Henry Armstrong.

Scrubbed floors in a brothel and tried to become a dancer before an audition pianist asked if she could sing.

Was raped at 11 years of age by a neighbor, Wilbur Rich. She was placed at the House of the Good Shepherd for three months as a state witness in the rape case.

Her vocal range spanned a ninth - just over one octave.

Is portrayed by Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Holiday's 1941 recording of "Gloomy Sunday" became connected with suicides around the world and her version was banned by the BBC from airplay until 2002.

Enjoyed reading comic books, including Captain Marvel, throughout her adult life.

The 1959 "Chelsea at Nine" British television appearance was recorded on one of the earliest existences of videotape, and survives to this day. Ironically, it was Ms. Holiday's last appearance before her death.

She was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1540 North Vine Street in Hollywood, California on April 7, 1986.

In 1947, she was sent to prison on a narcotics charge due to her addiction to heroin. When she was released, she performed at Carnegie Hall.

Following her untimely death, she was interred at Saint Raymond's Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.

Her favorite singer was fellow jazz artist Jo Stafford.

Her song "Strange Fruit" was written by Abel Meeropol, who adopted the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after their parents' execution. He wrote the song under the assumed name Lewis Allen so that no one would trace the song to him.

Is portrayed by actress Leata Galloway in television movie Sinatra (1992).

Friends with Kenny Burrell.

Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), better 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 comparable talent, but Holiday had a unique vocal style 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 at 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 on July 17, 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 the film Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill; the role was originated by Reenie Upchurch in 1986 and was played by Audra McDonald on Broadway and in the film.

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