Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), known professionally as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz and swing music singer. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had an innovative influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills.
After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem, where she was heard by producer John Hammond, who commended her voice. She signed a recording contract with Brunswick in 1935. Collaborations with Teddy Wilson yielded the hit “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, which became a jazz standard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday had mainstream success on labels such as Columbia and Decca. By the late 1940s, however, she was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, she performed at a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, but her reputation deteriorated because of her drug and alcohol problems.
She was a successful concert performer throughout the 1950s with two further sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall. Her final album, Lady in Satin, was released in 1958. Holiday died on July 17, 1959 at age 44. She won four Grammy Awards, all of them posthumously, for Best Historical Album. She was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. Several films about her life have been released.
Studio: 14 albums from 1952 – 1959
Live: 6 albums from 1954 – 1971
Compilation: 24 albums from 1946 – 1993
Box sets: 6 from 1985 – 2009
One thing to share: I decided to share this excellent youtube podcast.