april 7 1915


happy 100th birthday, billie holiday // april 7, 1915 - july 17, 1959 // “no two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music.”

“Behind me, Billie was on her last song. I picked up the refrain, humming a few bars. Her voice sounded different to me now. Beneath the layers of hurt, beneath the ragged laughter, I heard a willingness to endure. Endure - and make music that wasn’t there before." President Barack Obama

"With few exceptions, every major pop singer in the US during her generation has been touched in some way by her genius. It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me. Lady Day is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing…" Frank Sinatra

"Once, when I was playing at the Apollo, Billie Holiday was working a block away at the Harlem Opera House. Some of us went over between shows to catch her, and afterwards we went backstage. I did something then, and I still don’t know if it was the right thing to do - I asked for her autograph.” Ella Fitzgerald

“If I hear a record once, I usually never listen to it again. I rarely listen to music - unless it’s Billie Holiday." Barbra Streisand

"I have the ability to sing with emotion and feeling, but if you say I sound like Billie Holiday, that’s cool. Let’s look at who Billie was: she was this person, this singer, this beautiful diva who could move the audience with the slightest gesture of her hand." Erykah Badu

"Billie Holiday….she is so subtle, she can milk you with two notes. She can go no farther than from a to b, and she can make you feel like she told you the whole universe…" Janis Joplin

"My great hero is Billie Holiday." Tim Curry


Remembering Jazz vocal legend Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan in Baltimore, MD) - April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959


Happy 100th birthday, Billie Holiday // April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959

“I don’t think I’ve ever sang the same way twice, I don’t think I’ve ever sang the same tempo. One night’s a little bit slower, the next night’s a little bit brighter, depends on how I feel. I don’t know, the blues is sort of mixed up thing, you just have to feel it. Everything I do sing is part of my life.”

“Probably no voice in the history of jazz exerts a deeper fascination than the vulnerable, intimate slur of Billie Holiday, who died in 1959 at the age of 44. With a vocal range of barely an octave and the timbre of a muted horn, Miss Holiday’s singing was far from athletic, but it spanned the emotional range of the universe, communicating joy and pain with an immediacy that seemed at once artless and profoundly sophisticated.”Stephen Holden