Discover New Music

Last.fm is a music discovery service that gives you personalised recommendations based on the music you play.

Start your Last.fm profile Close window

Billie Holiday

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Biography

Philadelphia, United States (1915 – 1959)

Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan Gough, Philadelphia, PA, April 7, 1915 – New York City, NY, July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter.

Nicknamed Lady Day by her loyal friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday was a highly original 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. 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.”
Music critic Robert Christgau called her “uncoverable, possibly the greatest singer of the century”.
Critic John Bush wrote that she “changed the art of American pop vocals forever.”

Billie Holiday had a difficult childhood, which greatly affected her life and career. Not much is known about the true details of her early life, though stories of it appeared in her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, first published in 1956 and later revealed to contain many inaccuracies.

Her professional pseudonym was taken from Billie Dove, an actress she admired, and Clarence Holiday, her probable father. At the outset of her career, she spelled her last name “Halliday”, presumably to distance herself from her neglectful father, but eventually changed it back to “Holiday”.

Videos

Top Albums

Listening Trend

1,153,270listeners all time
22,990,759scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Start scrobbling and track your listening history

Last.fm users scrobble the music they play in iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and over 200 other music players.

Create a Last.fm profile

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.
  • lossless777

    ♥♥♥

    7 Apr 11:53pm Reply
  • TheeQueenBitch

    Happy Birthday Ms. Holiday...all my love. ♡

    7 Apr 10:01am Reply
  • DJ_iNori

    来年は生誕100年になる…

    7 Apr 4:06am Reply
  • LOVES-DESIRE

    Miss Lady Day, there is no one even close to how you sang each song from deep within your Soul ..... Life, Love, Opportunity, Rejection, Cruelty, Abandonment, Abuse, and being used by others and self-medication - Addiction are all the same today as they were when you were given this indescribable Gift and at the same time Life dealt you a mean hand, even while you sang and created Song ..... Everyone listened and heard exactly what you were expressing ...... but no one steeped in to help - they just ignored and you ignored and keep performing and creating ...... Pain and self destruction feels and sounds the same way today as it felt during the time you were here with us ...... Miss Lady Day, you are still here and I love you and your Music ..... Happy Birthday Miss Lady Day - tomorrow is your Birthday - I will see you one day ...... Thank you for being so very real ...... Thank you for being brave enough to be you .....

    6 Apr 7:40pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    if she was living nowadays it would not sound that good though, but i still rate her

    26 Mar 7:55am Reply
  • zombinella

    aahh . . . como me re-enamora de la vida esta mujer.

    13 Feb 2:51am Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    ее надтреснутый голос 50-х просто потрясающ в записи

    9 Feb 12:00pm Reply
  • JTraill

    best vocalist of all time

    31 Dec 2013 Reply
  • polmocotnoy

    the very thought of you <3

    8 Dec 2013 Reply
  • yeahcath

    On the road me ensinou a amar. <3

    19 Sep 2013 Reply
  • blimka

    Just love her.

    11 Sep 2013 Reply
  • BloodHeartless

    29 Aug 2013 Reply
  • RezA_Sin

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lmoqahha101qh87nno1_500.jpg

    26 Aug 2013 Reply
  • 666depravado

    increible!! la mejor!

    14 Aug 2013 Reply
  • mrgypsum

    this music reminds me of my grandmother, hot summer nights playing at her house.

    8 Aug 2013 Reply
  • nnairimyve

    Minha Lady Day.

    4 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Metaknite

    omfg motherfucking melting right now

    4 Aug 2013 Reply
  • dejavudarlene

    good morning, heartache

    22 Jul 2013 Reply
  • LilianColours

    никогда не нравилась.

    30 Jun 2013 Reply
  • EricValeev

    Speak Low ♥

    28 Jun 2013 Reply
  • All 769 shouts

Listening Now

Top Listeners

Email Newsletter

Universal Music Group Get exclusive tour, release & promotion updates on Billie Holiday from Universal Music.