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“Lady Day” Remembered on the Centennial of Her Birth

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday was born 100 years ago this month, April 1915 in Baltimore and died in Harlem, New York in July 1959 at age 44. By the time of her death few people outside of older jazz musicians and those who loved the musical genre remembered her. But all that was about to change. Thankfully, Lady Day, a name given her by fellow musician Lester Young, was rediscovered. If anyone deserved a second chance it was her.

She was voted into the Down Beat Hall Of Fame in 1961. A few years later, Columbia Records restored nearly 100 of her greatest early recordings. In the ’70s, Diana Ross won a Golden Globe and received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the movie Lady Sings The Blues.

In 1941, her recording of “God Bless The Child” entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1976. There would be another 22 posthumous Grammy wins or nominations associated with her work. In 2000, she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Now, more than half a century after her death, every record she ever made is in print.

If you have not heard her sing, her remarkable talent is plentiful on YouTube.

About the Author

In 2000, following a long and successful career as head of his own public relations agency, Jim became a freelance travel writer. In 2003 he was named travel editor at New York Trend. Jim travels widely in North America and Europe and has also visited in Asia, Africa, and Central America. He enjoys writing stories that bring alive his travel experience and entice the reader to visit new destinations. Jim is a member of the International Association of Black Travel Writers.