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Billie Holiday Student name Instructor name Course name Date Jazz singer Billie Holiday (1915-1959), nicknamed “Lady Day” was a prominent and influential voice in popular music from the 1930s to the 1950s. She is remembered for her unique method of phrasing and soulful manipulation of songs along with the personal and sometimes risque nature of the lyrics.
Much of Holiday’s early life is largely unknown. The available information paints a bleak picture, however. The father left the family when Holiday was very young. He though she was born illegitimately and would not claim her as his own, until she became famous. When her mother moved to New York, Holiday was left with relatives who treated her poorly, forcing her to drop out of school to work. At age 13 she moved to New York and as a teenager was arrested for prostitution. Following that episode she began a legitimate career singing in Brooklyn nightclubs. While working in a Harlem club in 1933, Holiday was discovered by a talent scout who introduced her to the famous musician and bandleader Benny Goodman. She recorded some songs with Goodman, a wise career move which made her a wanted commodity of the nicer New York clubs. (“Billie,” 2012) By the late 1930s, Holiday was debuting original songs at upscale venues such as the Cafe Society nightclub. She co-wrote God Bless the Child which became a nationwide hit selling more than million copies. Holliday followed that success with Strange Fruit. ...
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