Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing.
Her father, Clarence Holiday (later a jazz guitarist) married Sadie three years later. He never lived with the family, choosing his musical career over them. As a child Billie started working very young, running errands and cleaning a house of prostitution’s (a place where sexual acts are traded for money) marble stoop. It was here that she first heard Louis Armstrong (1900–1971) and Bessie Smith (1894–1937) records through the open windows.
Here are some inspirational quotes by her:-
“Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain.”
“You can’t copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any real feeling. No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music.”
“If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.”
“I hurt nobody but myself and that’s nobody’s business but my own.”
5.ON GOT SOMETHING
“You’ve got to have something to eat, and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body’s sermon on how to behave.”
“You can be up to your boobies in
white satin, with gardenias in your hair
and no sugar cane for miles, but you
can still be working on a plantation.”
“Love is like a faucet: it turns on and off.”
“Everyones got to be different. You can’t copy anybody and end up with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any real feeling. And without feeling, whatever you do amounts to nothing.”
“In this country, don’t forget, a habit is no damn private hell. There’s no solitary confinement outside of jail. A habit is a hell for those you love. And in this country, it’s the worst kind of hell for those who love you.”