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Posted by on Oct 10, 2009

Lady Day: The music and sad life of Billie Holiday

I have been listening a bit recently to Billie Holiday and am generally enamored of her voice. So, I read some more about her life if only to see where all that passion came from. I had always known that she had died from drug abuse and alcoholism, but it was a fairly horrific life all the way through. If you would like to learn more, you can find some background here.

“Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what’s more than enough.”-Billie Holiday

And I think she knew what was more than enough. However, with an artist I try not to focus on their lives but rather their art. And Billie Holiday’s art was otherworldly.

The above is Billie singing her signature tune, I Love You Porgy. Even in this recording, her voice is much more fragile than it had been before the drug abuse had taken its toll.

Compare that to the below, an earlier Billie singing No Regrets.

The differences in her voice are there. But so is the passion; it’s just the technique that is in question a bit.

I will leave you with my single favorite track from Billie Holiday. All of Me is always on my iPod and I hope it will always be on yours. Download and enjoy.

Billie Holiday-All Of Me

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