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This Month's Legacy Need 2 Know Artist Billie Holiday


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Billie Holiday, nicknamed “Lady Day," was an American jazz singer and songwriter who transformed jazz and pop singing in the 20th Century. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Critic John Bush wrote that Holiday “changed the art of American pop vocals forever."

Billie Holiday—American jazz singer and songwriter

Billie Holiday
American jazz singer and songwriter

Holiday's voice was instantly recognizable from her distinctive delivery. Years of excessive drug use eventually altered the texture of her voice and gave it a certain fragility, but the profound emotion that she invested in each song remained intact throughout her career. Holiday co-wrote only a few songs, but several of them have become jazz standards, notably “God Bless the Child," “Don't Explain," “Billie's Blues," and “Lady Sings the Blues."

Billie Holiday
The Essential Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday
Lady In Satin

Billie Holiday
Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia (1933-1944)

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This story appears courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment/Legacy.
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