One of the world's most acclaimed blues singers, Billie Holiday was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She was given the name Eleanor Fagan Gough at birth, but changed her name when she started to develop a singing career. Billie moved to New York in 1929 to sing in the Harlem nightclubs. She quickly became a featured vocalist for several well known band at that time.
Lester Young a member of the Count Basies Band called Billie "Lady Day" because of her unique style of singing the blues. Billie was able to land a contract with a major record company which increased her fame and popularity. Some of her recordings are considered to be classics in the blues field of music.
Many people remember her recordings of "God Bless the Child" and "My Man ." Radio stations that specialize in playing the blues and jazz still play some of Billie's recordings.
In 1973, a film "The Lady Sings the Blues " was produced. The singer/actress Dinah Ross played the role of Billie Holiday . The film attempted to portray the life of Billie Holiday. Unfortunately, the life of Billie Holiday ended in tragedy. At the young age of 44, she died with an alcohol and drug addiction.
Nevertheless, in Baltimore, Maryland a contest is held in her name each year to discover new blues singers. Also, a statue was erected in east Baltimore as a final tribute from her hometown.
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