“If I’m going to sing like someone else, the. I don’t need to sing at all.” —Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday (1915-1959) was an American jazz singer who was known for her unique vocal delivery and improvisational skills. The pain of her troubled past came through in her song and captivated audiences, and though she had no formal education to speak of, her soulful voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made her a superstar of her time, overcoming the intense racial divides of the era. Today, she is remembered for her masterpieces, creativity and vivacity, and many of her songs are as well known today as they were decades ago. Tragically, she was never able to sing the pain away, and she lost her life to drug and alcohol addiction at age 44. Billie Holiday’s poignant voice is still considered to be one of the greatest jazz voices of all time.