April 7 Billie Holiday was born…

On April 7, 1915 Billie Holiday (real name Eleanora Fagan) was born.

Billie Holiday  United States Library of Congress's Music Division

Billie Holiday
United States Library of Congress’s Music Division

Often credited for changing the art of singing in terms of pop vocals, Holiday was known for influencing the landscape of jazz with her unique vocal style, particularly her tempo. Nicknamed “Lady Day,” some of Holiday’s most signature hits include “Lady Sings the Blues,” “Strange Fruit,” and “Fine and Mellow.” Due to her contributions to music, particularly jazz, six of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, with “Strange Fruit” also listed into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2002.

Billie Holiday with her dog Mister in New York City on June 1946 United States Library of Congress's Music Division

Billie Holiday with her dog Mister in New York City on June 1946
United States Library of Congress’s Music Division

A biopic of Holiday, titled “Lady Sings the Blues,” was released in 1972, with Diana Ross playing the role of Billie Holiday. Ross’ performance earned her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination.

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