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25 Interesting Facts About Billie Holiday

by nobert soloria bermosa on 25/09/11 at 4:12 pm

Billie Holiday is one of the greatest jazz singers of all time.

Here’s a list of interesting facts about this famous singer.

1.) Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in 1915.

2.) Holiday, also known as Lady Day, is one of the greatest jazz singers of all time.

3.) She cast an almost magical spell over audiences with her ability to find the emotional core of a song.

4.) His father was the jazz guitarist Clarence Holiday, but they had no contact during her upbringing.

5.) She spent an impoverished childhood in Baltimore before she moved with her mother to New York City in the late 1920s.

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6.) In New York City, she started singing in Harlem nightclubs and took the name Billie.

7.) Her big chance came in a recording session in 1935 and thereafter performed as vocalist with various big bands such as those of Count Basie and Artie Shaw.

8.) Holiday made many recordings with saxophonist Lester Young and with pianist Teddy Wilson.

9.) It was Lester Young who nicknamed her Lady Day.

10.) Holiday’s notable songs in the 1930s include “These Foolish Things” (1936), “He’s Funny That Way” (1937), “Them There Eyes” (1939) and “Strange Fruit” (1939)

11.) Her songs in the 1940s were “All of Me” (1941) “God Bless the Child” and “Georgia on My Mind” (1941).

12.) She appeared in clubs in the US throughout the 1940s and 1950s although racial discrimination made touring difficult.

13.) Holidays relationships were unsuccessful and her voice was greatly affected by alcoholism and drug addiction by the 1950s.

14.) She rarely sang traditional blues, but her reputation rests on her ability to transform popular songs into emotionally profound pieces.

15.) Holiday’s book Lady Sings the Blues (1956) inspired a 1972 movie of the same name. Singer Diana Ross played the title role.

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16.) She died at the age of 44 on July 17, 1959 in New York City due to alcoholism and long-term heroin addiction.

17.) On December 24, 1926 her mother discovered that a neighbor, Wilbur Rich, was raping Holiday. Rich was arrested.

18.) Officials placed Holiday at the House of the Good Shepherd in protective custody as a state witness in the rape case.

19.) Holiday’s mother was a prostitute in order to live.

20.) At age 13, Holiday also became a prostitute for $5 a time.

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21.) Holiday and her mother were arrested for prostitution in May 1929. She was jailed for 5 months.

22.) She died with $0.70 in the bank and $750 (a tabloid fee) on her person.

23.) In 1987, Billie Holiday was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

24.) In 1999, Holiday ranked #6 on Video Hits One or VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Rock n’ Roll.

25.) She was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame in 2000.

See also

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Amazingly Interesting and Random Facts About Music and Entertainment

The Best Films of All Time

50 Entertaining and Interesting Facts About Elvis Presley: The King of Rock and Roll

60 Entertaining and Interesting Facts About Frank Sinatra

Liked it

Minister Marlene

Sep 26th, 2011

Some of this I didn’t know. What a great talent she was. Amy Winehouse reminded me of her. Life dealth them both some hard blows. These two women have been part of my inspiration for helping abused women. I loved them both. Thanks Norbet for writing this piece.


Sep 26th, 2011

I know Billie but I’ve learned more info about her.


Sep 28th, 2011

Learned more about Billie Holiday here. thanks.

PR Mace

Oct 1st, 2011

Good historial information.


Mar 1st, 2013

Wow im doing a research on her this really helps thanks alot

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