Alongside Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday is considered one of the greatest Jazz singers of all time and was one of the first African American singers to perform with white musicians.
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Billie Holiday's grandfather was one of 17 children of a black Virginia slave and a white Irish plantation owner. Her mother was only 13 when she was born.
The future "Lady Day" first heard the music of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith on a Victrola at Alice Dean's, the Baltimore "house of ill repute" where she ran errands and scrubbed floors as a young girl.
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"If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all."
Books and Videos
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