Billie Holiday (b.1915 – d.1959)
Talk about a life of hard knocks. By age 14 Holiday was working in a brothel alongside her mother. Billie’s life was marred by jail time, heavy drinking, heroin and abusive men. With only 70 cents in the bank, Billie Holiday died from liver cirrhosis at age 44. But nobody ever sang like Lady Day. Her legendary status stems from the incredible creativity and emotion that she transmitted as a jazz singer. Despite racial prejudice, she was hugely popular. Frank Sinatra named Holiday as his greatest musical influence. All that sorrow in her heart, she poured out singing.
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