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Billie Holiday Essay

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• On April 7th, 1915, Eleanora Fagan was born to Sarah Fagan and Clarence Holiday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. • Sadly, her father left Eleanora and her mother to pursue a music career. Her mother could not support Eleanora so she was sent to live with her aunt in Baltimore, Maryland.0 • Because of her difficult childhood, Eleanora dropped out of school and moved to Harlem, where she began her music career. She worked hard and despite horrible circumstances in her life, she kept on going and soon began to realize her voice would be heard. • Around 1930, Eleanora changed her name to Billie Holiday. Choosing the name Billie after film star Billie Dove and taking her father’s last name of Holiday. • In 1933, Billie Holiday was discovered…show more content…
• The recording industry can be ruthless at times and Billie once said, “People don't understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it”. • Billie’s trademark turned out to be the white gardenias she wore in her hair and tilting her head back when she sang. • Even though, Billie Holiday was paid a top wage for that time, much of her money went to unhealthy habits she pursued in her personal life. • Billie sang over 350 different songs during her lifetime. Her voice could be very strong yet quiet at the same time. • During her lifetime, she fought racism and sexism and despite her great personal tragic life triumphed through with a profound artistic soul. • It was only after her death, the society who has so often held her down; realized she was the true voice of the times and then held her up as the genuine trail blazer she was. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011. A statue of her in her honor stands at the corner of Lafayette and Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. She was also inducted into the Apollo Theater’s Walk of Fame on April 6, 2015. Four days later, Cassandra Wilson, a Grammy-winning artist will headline at the Apollo Theater for the first time to honor Billie Holiday on the very same stage Billie first performed in
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