Billie Holiday

Genres: Big Band & Swing Blues Blues Documentaries Jazz Music & Radio Books Pop / Rock R&B / Soul Soundtrack Vocals
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Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Eleanor(a) Harris, 7 April 1915, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 17 July 1959, New York City, New York, USA. ‘Lady Day’ taught herself to sing during her early teens in Baltimore, Maryland, where she was brought up until moving to New York in 1929. Factual inaccuracies and elements of myth and exaggeration have clouded the picture of her formative years despite the best efforts of researchers to present her career story in a properly ordered manner. Not until Stuart Nicholson’s immaculately researched book appeared in 1995 was a detailed and reliable account of these years made available. Nicholson’s research revealed that some of the statements made by the singer in her 1956 autobiography, Lady Sings The Blues, were true, despite having been dismissed as exaggeration by other writers.

Holidays’ teenage parents, Sadie Harris (aka Fagan) and probable father, Clarence Holiday, (Frank DeVeazy was also suggested)...

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by Billie Holiday