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Billie Holiday Billie Holiday was a famous jazz singer in the 1930s and 1940s She was born in Baltimore Maryland in 1915 with the name of Eleanora Fagan She became successful as by singing in various bands before embarking on a solo career Billie Holiday was one of the first successful African American females Her unique style is what made her great Jazz is the most significant form of musical expression in the African American culture Its success in the 20s and 30s are reflective of the time At first everyone did not accept jazz It suggested loose morals and a low social status However soon white orchestras began performing it Eventually racially mixed groups started performing at Carnegie Hall that were lead by Benny Goodman Billie Holiday performed with various bands in her early career She worked with Benny Goodman Teddy Wilson Count Basie and Artie Shaw Later in 1940 she branched off to a solo career Billie made appearances in a variety of theatres and nightclubs Holiday was known for her highly personal approach to sound and the rough but emotional quality of her voice Her nickname was Lady Day Billies financial success was shadowed by her disastrous personal life She had a severe drug addiction that lead to her death in 1959 at the age of 44 Billie Holiday was one of the most influential jazz artists of her time She led the way not only for African Americans but also for women Her talent will always be appreciated and people will continue to listen to her music Source The Columbia Encyclopedia
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