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Hi I am Eleanor Fagan Gough or most of you know me as Lady Day or Billie Holiday I am known as one of Americas most memorable and influential singers of all time I was born in Baltimore in a run down apartment in 1915 My mother had a very unsteady low paying job and my father ran out on us when I was very young I had no choice but to try and find a way to make money for my mother and I This led me to become a singer and a well-known legend I am influential people say because I changed the style of jazz music came from poverty to fame and overcame a terrible drug People say Im influential because I changed the style of jazz music in an interesting way In 1935 after singing like most jazz singers in my time I decided to make my own sound by incorporate Louis Armstrongs swing and Bessie Smiths sound As a result I came up with my own fresh sound My manager Benny Goodman allowed me to do whatever I wanted with my music I added my own trademark by always performing with a flower behind my ear I put more fun and interest into the jazz music People say Im influential because my life went from poverty to fame It seems like it happened all in one night After my father had left us my mother hadnt had a very steady job ever As a result we never had enough money for us to stay alive This forced me to go out and make some money on my own At the age of thirteen I entered an old nightclub asking the manager if I could dance for money He saw my dancing and said Lets hear you sing instead I sang for him and he hired me on the spot That was the night I felt fame for the first time
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