|Billie Holiday Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 5 in|
|Date of Birth||April 7, 1915|
|Date of Death||July 17, 1959|
Billie Holiday was an American singer, songwriter, and musician who went on to become one of the noted musicians of her generation. Known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, she won 4 Grammy Awards (all of them posthumously). Her discography includes albums like Billie Holiday Sings, An Evening with Billie Holiday, Music for Torching, Velvet Mood, Solitude, Lady Sings the Blues, Songs for Distingué Lovers, Body and Soul, All or Nothing at All, Lady in Satin, and Last Recording.
Billie Holiday, Lady Day
She was born on April 7, 1915.
On July 17, 1959, Billie Holiday died of pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 44 in New York City, New York, United States.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Billie Holiday attended St. Frances Academy and was later sent to the House of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic reform school.
She was 11 years old when she dropped out of school.
Singer, Songwriter, Musician
- Father – Clarence Halliday (July 23, 1898 – March 1, 1937) (Musician)
- Mother – Sarah Julia “Sadie” Fagan
- Others – Nelson Holliday (Paternal Grandfather), Mary (Paternal Grandmother), Eva Miller (Aunt)
Billie Holiday was managed by John Levy and Joe Glaser.
Jazz, Swing, Blues, Traditional Pop
Brunswick Records, Vocalion Records, Okeh Records, Bluebird Records, Commodore Records, Capitol, Decca Records, Aladdin Records, Verve Records, Columbia Records, MGM Records
5 ft 5 in or 165 cm
60 kg or 132 lbs
Girlfriend / Boyfriend / Spouse
Billie Holiday had dated –
- Carmen McRae
- John Levy
- Lester Young – It was reported that she was romantically involved with tenor saxophonist Lester Young who nicknamed her “Lady Day”. She nicknamed him “Prez” and he died in March 1959. Billie wanted to sing at his funeral but her request was denied.
- Tallulah Bankhead – RUMOR
- Greta Garbo
- Jimmy Monroe (1941-1947) – On August 25, 1941, Billie got married to trombonist Jimmy Monroe but the duo eventually divorced in 1947. She wrote the song Don’t Explain after she caught Jimmy Monroe with lipstick on his collar.
- Orson Welles (1942)
- Joe Guy (1951-1957) – She was married to Joe Guy between 1951 and 1957.
- Louis McKay – She married a mob enforcer named Louis McKay on March 28, 1957, and the relationship was an abusive one. They had separated by the time of her death.
Note – Billie Holiday was childless and had 2 godchildren – singer Billie Lorraine Feather (the daughter of Leonard Feather) and Bevan Dufty (the son of William Dufty).
Race / Ethnicity
Billie Holiday was of African-American descent.
- Soulful singing voice
- Gardenia flower in her hair
Billie Holiday Favorite Things
- Singer – Jo Stafford
Source – IMDb
Billie Holiday Facts
- Her father abandoned the family soon after Billie’s birth in order to pursue a career as a jazz banjo player and guitarist.
- She had a tough childhood and a neighbor named Wilbur Rich attempted to rape her on December 24, 1926.
- She liked reading comic books.
- Billie Holiday was friends with Kenny Burrell and Ella Fitzgerald.
- The final album that she recorded was named Last Recording and it was released in July 1959.
- She was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
- On April 7, 1986, Billie Holiday was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1540 North Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Featured Image by William P. Gottlieb / United States Library of Congress’s Music Division / Public Domain