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Billie Holiday Quotes


Billie Holiday Every generation seems to produce soulful singers with silken voices but when Billie Holiday was discovered in a Harlem speakeasy by John Hammond he was moved to say about her: "She was the first girl singer I'd come across who actually sang like an improvising jazz genius". Today she is considered one of the best jazz singers of all time and rightly so as during her era she never gained the recognition she truly deserved. She was brought up in poverty with even Holiday was quoted as saying about her upbringing: "I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was 6 years old". Her singing career saw her working through the back end of prohibition and suffered from the racial divide that prevailed in the U.S. up to her 1959 demise but her voice was always appreciated, if not truly rewarded. Much was made of her drug addiction but if truth were told all she wanted to do was sing, musician Miles Davis recognised this when he said about her: "She was the nicest woman in the world, you know. All she wanted to do was sing". Her vocal improvisation mesmerised audiences as she could input any emotion at will to any line she wanted, her vocal stamp could take any song to another undiscovered level. She will always be remembered as an all time great and she was also good for a one liner, so here is my compilation of 10 of the best Billie Holiday quotes
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Eleanora Fagan
  • Born: 7th April 1915, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Died: 17th July 1959, New York City, U.S.
  • Occupation: Singer and songwriter
  • Alma mater: New York speakeasy's
  • Stage name: Billie Holiday
  • Nickname: Lady Day
  • Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
  • Instrument: Vocals
  • Trade mark: White Gardenia in her hair and gloves
  • Firsts: She was the first black woman to work with a white orchestra when she sang with bandleader Artie Shaw
  • Trivia: After being convicted of narcotics possession in 1947 she served one year in prison and upon her release she was not eligible for a licence to play in cabarets and clubs
  • Quotes about Billie Holiday: The music producer John Hammond who discovered Billie in a Harlem speakeasy said of her: "She was the best jazz singer I had ever heard"
  • The actress and singer Jeanne Moreau was glowing when she said about Billie: "She could express more emotion in one chorus than most actresses can in three acts"

"We never know what is enough until we know what's more than enough"

Billie Holiday

"Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose"

Billie Holiday

"A kiss that is never tasted, is forever and ever wasted"

Billie Holiday

"The difficult I'll do right now. The impossible will take a little while"

Billie Holiday

"I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own"

Billie Holiday

"Money, you got lots of friends. They’re crowding around your door. But when you are gone and spending ends. They don’t come no more"

Billie Holiday

"No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music"

Billie Holiday

"I'm always making a comeback but nobody ever tells me where I've been"

Billie Holiday

"If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all"

Billie Holiday

"It takes a bad woman to be a good godmother"

Billie Holiday





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