Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday – Biography

Billie Holiday (birth name: Eleanora Fagan) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1915. Her mother wasn’t around all that much, which led to Holiday dropping out of school at the age of 11 and working in brothels as a cleaning lady. Despite her rough upbringing, Holiday followed her dream of becoming a jazz singer by performing in nightclubs throughout Harlem as a teenager. Her unique style of vocal inflection, which was improvised to fit the emotional mood of the song, was revolutionary.

As one of the most recognizable voices in jazz music, Holiday enjoyed a successful career playing with several of the era’s leading swing bands. Throughout the 1940s and ’50s, she enjoyed a successful solo career, yet her abusive relationships and narcotics usage severely deteriorated her health. She died in 1959 at the age of 44. Keep reading below for Billie Holiday album reviews and accolades.


  • Billie Holiday Sings (1952), A-
  • An Evening with Billie Holiday (1953) A-
  • Lady Sings the Blues (1956) A
  • Body and Soul (1957) B+
  • Songs for Distingué Lovers (1957) A-
  • Stay with Me (1958) B+
  • All or Nothing at All (1958) B+
  • Lady in Satin (1958) A+
  • Last Recording (1959) B


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