Billie Holiday at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, November 1958 (via)

Billie Holiday photographed by Bradley Smith, 1940s

Original caption: Billie Holiday at a court appearance slaying your faves while draped in furs, c. 1949


"After Billie Holiday’s funeral service, there was such a quietness over these musicians, such a multitude of them there, and we just stood around like in awe and we filed out of the church and stood on the corners for a few minutes until everybody got out and we just quietly just stepped away into the crowd. It was not the usual thing of musicians going to a bar…having a nice drink or a type of New Orleans festivity. It was just dead quiet and sadness."

RIP Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915 - July 17, 1959)

Billie Holiday photographed by William P. Gottlieb for Down Beat Magazine, c. 1946

Billie Holiday at Paris Orly Airport, 1958 (via)

Outtake of Billie Holiday posing for the cover of her penultimate album Lady in Satin, c. 1958

Billie Holiday c. 1950s


"The blues to me is like being very sad, very sick, going to church, being very happy. There’s two kinds of blues: there’s happy blues and then sad blues. I don’t think I’ve ever sang the same way twice, I don’t think I’ve ever sang the same tempo. One night’s a little bit slower, the next night’s a little bit brighter, depends on how I feel. I don’t know, the blues is sort of mixed up thing, you just have to feel it. Everything I do sing is part of my life."

Happy 99th birthday to one of the greatest voices of the 20th century:
Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915 - July 17, 1959)

Billie Holiday at record producer Harry Lim’s jam session, photographed by Life photographer Charles Peterson, c. 1939

Other musicians in attendance include Duke Ellington, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Johnny Hodgers, J.C. Higginbotham, Hot Lips Page and Chu Berry among others.

Billie Holiday at the Newport Jazz Festival, c. 1957

Original Caption: Lady Day slaying your faves, as usual, in an appearance at the L’Olympia in Paris, c. 1958


The Queens, c. 1950

"Once, when we were playing at the Apollo, Holiday was working a block away at the Harlem Opera House. Some of us went over between shows to catch her, and afterwards we went backstage. I did something then, and I still don’t know if it was the right thing to do - I asked her for her autograph."
-Ella Fitzgerald


Billie Holiday “Strange Fruit" London; 1959


CultureMUSIC: Billie Holiday

As you can see from the avatar, Lady Day is a big favorite. These recently discovered photos from a French magazine are some of the most gorgeous color shots of her that I’ve seen. So ridiculously talented and so beautiful.