Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE — Billie Holiday

04-07 Billie HolidayThe jazz singer, Billie Holiday, was born on this day, 100 years ago. Coming to Harlem at age 13, she performed in clubs from the Alhambra to the Brooklyn Elks. After a few difficult years, touring with Count Basie and Artie Shaw, Holiday performed at Café Society in Greenwich Village and rose to fame there, thanks to the brilliant, scorching, nightmare of a song, “Strange Fruit”. Other successes followed, with songs like “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “God Bless the Child” on stages from the Apollo Theater to Carnegie Hall. Sadly, Holiday died young, at age 44. Hopelessly addicted to narcotics and alcohol, she succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver at Metropolitan Hospital and is interred at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx. But her recordings, such as Lady Sings the Blues and Lady in Satin, continue to move and inspire listeners all over the world.

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