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Billie Holiday Biography

Full nameEleanora Fagan Gough
Know asBillie Holiday, Holiday, Billie
Birth placePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Birth date1915-04-07
Lived44 years, 3 month, 10 days
Star signAries
OccupationSinger, songwriter, actress
Height5' 5" (1.65 m)

Eleanora Fagan Gough sources


Eleanora Fagan Gough Biography:

Billie Holiday – Miniature Biography (TV14; 3:42) A brief biography of Billie “Lady Day” Holiday.
Considered among the greatest jazz vocalists ever, Holiday had a flourishing career as a jazz vocalist for a long time before she lost her struggle with substance abuse. Her autobiography was made in the 1972 movie Lady Sings the Blues. In 2000, Billie Holiday was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Vocalist, jazz vocalist. (Some sources say Baltimore, Maryland. Her birth certificate apparently reads “Elinore Harris.”) Among the very influential jazz vocalists ever, Billie Holiday had a flourishing profession for several years before her conflicts with substance abuse got the better of her.

Holiday spent much of her youth in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mother, Sadie, was just a teen when she’d her. Her dad is broadly considered to be Clarence Holiday, who finally became a successful jazz musician, playing with the likes of Fletcher Henderson. Sadly for Billie, he was just an infrequent visitor in her life growing up. Sadie wed Philip Gough in 1920 and for several years Billie had a somewhat secure home life. But that union ended several years after, leaving Billie and Sadie to fight along on their particular again. Occasionally Billie was left in the care of others. Holiday began missing school, and she and her mom went to court over Holiday’s truancy. Just 9 years old at that time, Holiday was among the youngest girls there. She was returned to her mom’s attention in August of this year.

In her hard early life, Holiday discovered comfort in music, singing along to the records of Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong. She followed her mom who’d moved to Nyc in the late 1920s and worked in a house of prostitution in Harlem to get a period. She followed her mom who’d moved to Nyc in the late 1920s and worked in a house of prostitution in Harlem to get a period. Hammond was instrumental in receiving Holiday record work with an up and coming clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman.

Known for her distinctive phrasing and expressive, occasionally melancholy voice, Holiday went to record with jazz pianist Teddy Wilson and others in 1935. The exact same year, Holiday appeared with Duke Ellington in the movie Symphony in Black. Around now, Holiday met and befriended saxophonist Lester Young, who was part of Count Basie’s orchestra off and on for a long time. He even lived with Holiday and her mom Sadie for some time. In return, she called “Prez,” which was her manner of saying that she believed it had been the best.

Holiday toured together with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1937. The next year, she worked with Artie Shaw and his orchestra. Holiday broke new ground with Shaw, becoming among the first female African American vocalists to work using a white orchestra. Supporters objected to Holiday for her race and for her exceptional vocal style—and she ended up leaving the orchestra out of discouragement. Striking out on her own, Holiday performed at The Big Apple ‘s Caf Society. She developed a few of her hallmark stage character there wearing gardenias in her hair and singing with her head tipped back.

In this booking, Holiday also debuted two of her most well-known songs “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit.” Columbia, her record company at that time, had not been interested in “Strange Fruit” (1939), that was a strong narrative concerning the lynching of African Americans in the South. Holiday recorded the tune together with the Commodore label instead. This ballad is regarded as among her trademark ballads, as well as the controversy that surrounded it some radio stations banned the record helped make it a hit.

Over time, Holiday sang many songs of stormy relationships, including “T’ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do” and “My Man.” These tunes revealed her private love affairs, which were frequently harmful and violent. The union did not survive, but Holiday’s troubles with substance abuse continued. (They later divorced.) Following the passing of her mom in October 1945, Holiday started drinking more heavily and escalated her drug use to calm her despair.

Despite her personal issues, Holiday stayed an important star in the jazz world and even in popular music as well. She appeared along with her idol Louis Armstrong in the 1947 movie New Orleans, albeit playing the part of a maid. Sadly, Holiday’s drug use caused her a great professional reverse that same year. She was detained and convicted for narcotics possession in 1947. Sentenced to a year along with a day of jail time, Holiday visited a national rehabilitation facility in Alderston, West Virginia.

Due to her conviction, she was not able to get the required permit to play in cabarets and nightclubs. Holiday, nevertheless, could nonetheless perform at concert halls and had a sold out show in the Carnegie Hall not long after her release. With some help from John Levy, a Nyc nightclub proprietor Vacation was afterwards to arrive at play in The Big Apple ‘s Club Ebony. Levy became her boyfriend and supervisor by the conclusion of the 1940s, joining the ranks of the guys who took advantage of Holiday. Also around this time, she was again detained for narcotics, but she was acquitted of the charges. She started recording for Norman Granz, the owner of numerous small jazz labels, in 1952. A couple of years after, Holiday had a hugely successful tour of Europe.

Holiday also captured the people’s focus by sharing her life story with all the world in 1956. Her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues (1956), was composed in collaboration by William Dufty. A few of the content contained, nevertheless, should be taken using a grain of salt. Holiday was in rough shape when she worked with Dufty to the job, and she promised to have never see the novel after it had been completed. The two were detained for narcotics in 1956, and they wed in Mexico the following year. Like a number of other guys in her life, McKay used Holiday’s name and cash to improve himself.

After years of lackluster records and record sales, Holiday recorded Lady in Satin (1958) using the Ray Ellis Orchestra for Columbia. The record’s tunes showcased her more abrasive sounding voice, which still could carry great mental intensity. She gave her final performance in Nyc on May 25, 1959. Not long following this occasion, Holiday was accepted to the hospital for heart and liver issues. She was so dependent on heroin that she was even arrested for possession within the hospital. On July 17, 1959, Holiday died from alcohol- and drug-associated complications.

Considered among the greatest jazz vocalists ever, Holiday continues to be an influence on a number of other performers who’ve followed in her footsteps. Her autobiography was made in the 1972 movie Lady Sings the Blues with renowned vocalist Diana Ross playing the role of Holiday, which helped revive interest in Holiday’s records. In 2000, Billie Holiday was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Diana Ross managing the honours.

Billie Holiday Biography

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