Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915 –† July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter.
Also known as Lady Day, Queen of Song.
Nicknamed Lady Day by her loyal friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday was a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Above all, she was admired for her deeply personal and intimate approach to singing. Critic John Bush wrote that she "changed the art of American pop vocals forever." She co-wrote only a few songs, but several of them have become jazz standards, notably "God Bless the Child", "Don't Explain", and "Lady Sings the Blues". She also became famous for singing jazz standards written by others, including "Easy Living" and "Strange Fruit."
AKA Elinore Harris
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Cirrhosis of the Liver
Remains: Buried, Saint Raymond's Cemetery, Bronx, NY
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Bisexual
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Singer with a haunting voice