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Billie Holiday Billie Holiday was born on April 71915 in Baltimore Billie Holidays grandfather had been a Slave in Virgina Billies parents Sally Fagan and Clarence Holiday were both born in Baltimore They married as teens soon after Sally gave birth to Eleanora Fagan While growing up she changed her name to Billie Holiday Shortly after the birth Clarence Holdiay deserted his family to tour with Fletcher Hendersons band Billie saw little of her immediate family Her mother would just usually leave her in the care of relatives With the feeling of shame and loneliness Billie gained a inferiority complex She began to do crazy things and was becoming quite self destructive When Billie was six years of age her grandmother died The family blamed the death on Billies behavior At ten she was victimized in a violent rape When older she worked at a brothel where she cleaned the floors and ran old jobs It was here that she first listened to the music of Louis Armstrong and Bes sie Smith In 1927 she moved to New York City Not knowing any other life she made a living prostituting But she still kept her dream of singing alive and eventually convinced the manager of a small nightclub in the city to let her sing a few songs with the house band The crowd loved her singing She was soon discovered by John Hammond She preformed under the name Billie Holiday after one of her favorite film stars Billie Dove She got her first recording session with the famous Benny Goodman Her first recordings were not all that successful but it was obvious to see that a star was beginning to shine In 1935 she meet up with a pianist named Teddy Wilson who was in a pick up band She traveled with the band for a while and hit it off People were beginning to learn about a great singer who had a fresh
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