October 12, 1972
Genre(s): Drama, Romance, Music
Coming up from a tough street life in Baltimore, Billie Holiday broke in as a jazz singer during the era of the big bands. Her husky voice, nuanced with the sorrows of poverty, alcohol and drug addiction, turned her into a jazz sensation in the late 1940s and 1950s. Singing with the musical giants of the age, including Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins, Holiday cut a series of records that aficionados still consider among the best jazz vocal performances of all time. Her skillful phrasing and unique sense of rhythm and timing, and above all her instantly recognizable voice, are known around the world. But life got no easier with musical fame, and she found herself at the mercy of unscrupulous managers and a series of manipulative men, and personal misfortune continued to plague her musical career until the end of her life.