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-> ''With few exceptions, every major pop singer in the US during her generation has been touched in some way by her genius. It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me. Lady Day is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years.''

-> '''Music/FrankSinatra''', interview in "Ebony", 1958.

Nicknamed "Lady Day", '''Billie Holiday''' (1915-1959) was a popular jazz singer. Her early life was tragic and her [[DrugsAreBad drug abuse]] cut her life short, but she remains famous for her powerful yet vulnerable voice, her persona, and her fearless advocacy of civil rights with such songs as the anti-lynching ballad "Strange Fruit."

Notable for "Strange Fruit" (which took considerable balls considering this was way before the UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement), "Summertime" and "Easy Living".

'''Albums by her with their own page on TV Tropes''''
* ''Music/LadyInSatin'' (1958)

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!!Tropes found in Billie Holiday's life and works:
* BerserkButton: Racism seemed to be one.
* BiTheWay: Had flings with both men ''and'' women.
* BrokenBird: Where to begin?
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: Her legend has been accelerated by her early death.
* FlowerInHerHair: Signature look. Many female singers since have copied it in order to pay tribute to her.
* FollowTheLeader: The first female singer to become world famous by singing melancholical songs about unfaithful men, alcohol, drugs and racism. Still copied to this day.
* GoingColdTurkey: Many times, in custody and out. Billie had a heroin habit that at its worse required her to cook up her fix in an old tuna fish can. Most junkies use a teaspoon. Even when in the agonies of withdrawal she still rarely missed a show. Cirrhosis from alcoholism is what eventually killed her.
* {{Jazz}}: She is still the most iconic female jazz singer of all time.
* TheLadette: Known for her love of drinking, brawling, and gambling.
* LipstickMark: In "Don't Explain" she tells her man to "skip that lipstick".
* {{Mondegreen}}: "God Bless The Child"'s lines "Mama may have, Papa may have" could be heard as "Mama Mayhem, Papa Mayhem".
* PosthumousCollaboration: "God Bless The Child" was recorded again after her death in a version with Tony Bennett.
* ProtestSong: "Strange Fruit" was a early example and was daring for its time. It addressed the lynching of black people in the South, by comparing people hanging from trees with "strange fruit".
* RapeAsBackstory: By a neighbor at 10 years old.
* RetroactiveRecognition: Of a boy Billie occasionally babysat. He was a nephew of the man who ran her first record company, Commodore Records, and his name also happened to be Billy. He was a funny kid who grew up to be one Billy Crystal (of ''{{When Harry Met Sally}}'' fame).
* RomanticizedAbuse: "Ain't Nobody's Business if I Do" where she defiantly declares how happy she is with her abusive husband (yes, it was TruthInTelevision)
* SlowClap: When she first sang "Strange Fruit," the result was silence... then a SlowClap.
* ToughActToFollow: Invoked. "Strange Fruit" was contractually required to be the last song Billie Holiday would ever perform in a night - no encores. Waiters would not serve patrons, and the only light would be a spotlight on Lady Day's face.

'''Billie Holiday in popular culture'''
* Her rendition of "Yesterdays" is used as an atmospheric piece in ''WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat'' before Fritz and his black friend go off to visit a pimp and a prostitute..
* Music/DianaRoss performed Holiday in the {{Biopic}} "Lady Sings The Blues" (1972).
* "Angel Of Harlem" by Music/{{U2}} from ''Music/TheJoshuaTree'' is a homage to her.
* "My Only Friend" by Music/TheMagneticFields is a tribute to her.
* "Strange Fruit" is used in a story of ''ComicBook/{{Blacksad}}''.
* ''Series/BombGirls'' provides a shout-out to Billie Holiday and Creator/CaryGrant.
* At the start of ''Film/SophieSchollTheFinalDays'' Sophie and her room-mate Gisela sing along to a recording of Holiday's "Sugar".
* Music/AlisonMoyet covered "That Ole Devil Called Love" in 1985.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "Round Springfield" the ghost of Bleeding Gums Murphy tells Lisa he has to leave: "I got a date with Billie Holiday".
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