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Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday Lady Day.jpg
Billie Holiday, 1949
Background information
Birth name Eleanora Fagan
Also known as Lady Day, Queen of Song
Born (1915-04-07)April 7, 1915
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Origin Harlem, New York, U.S.
Died July 17, 1959(1959-07-17) (aged 44)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Jazz, vocal jazz, jazz blues, torch songs, ballads, swing
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments voice
Years active 1933—1959
Labels Columbia

Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. She was also called "Lady Day", a nickname that her friend and musical partner Lester Young gave her. Holiday was a very important influence on jazz and pop singing. The way that she sang was similar to the way jazz musicians played their instruments. She was admired for her very personal and intimate way of singing. Critic John Bush wrote that she "changed the art of American pop vocals forever."

She co-wrote some songs which have become jazz standards, like "God Bless the Child", "Don't Explain", and "Lady Sings the Blues". She also became famous for singing jazz standards written by other people, like "Easy Living" and "Strange Fruit".

Holiday never had any children of her own, but had two godchildren: singer Billie Lorraine Feather, daughter of Leonard Feather, and Bevan Dufty, son of William Dufty.

On May 31, 1959, Holiday was taken to the Metropolitan Hospital in New York. She died on July 17, 1959.

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