How do we remember Billie Holiday? As a singer? A junkie? A tragic artist? Holiday, whose 100th birthday was April 7, is almost never thought of strictly as a musician — her personal life was too dramatic and at times too scandalous for the tabloids to ignore.
Was she a heroin addict, ex-convict, and child prostitute? Did she have numerous affairs with men and women? Have those parts of her life at times overshadowed her genius? Yes, and with all the sensationalism surrounding her life it’s easy to forget that she was an original artist who left an indelible mark on American music. One hundred years after her birth, Holiday’s music remains as transcendent and influential as her life story is complex and contested.
Billie Holiday playlist: press ‘play’ and read on via Cuepoint | Medium