Born Elinore Harris, Billie Holiday had a difficult teen and young adulthood period, which included working in brothels, both as a cleaning woman and a prostitute, and being raped. Through this difficulty, she dreamed of becoming a jazz singer. She got her initial singing break when she applied at a Harlem club that was looking for a dancer, but where she got hired as a singer. There, she met and fell in love with the suave Louis McKay. After this initial break, Billie wanted her singing career to move to the mainstream clubs in downtown Manhattan. She took a risk when she agreed to be the lead singer for the Reg Hanley Band, a primarily white group, who convinced her that she would have to make her mark in regional tours before her Manhattan dream could happen. As Billie tried to advance her career, pressures of life, including being a black woman, led to her not so secret substance abuse (especially of heroin), not so secret because of her increasingly erratic behavior, both on ...
Diana Ross is Billie Holiday. Diana Ross sings Billie Holiday and a superstar is born.
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Did You Know?
According to James "Jimmy" Monroe one of Billie Holliday's husbands said that Columbia Pictures in 1959 was planning to do "Lady Sings The Blues" and was considering having Ava Gardner, Billie Holliday's good friend, play the role of Billie Holliday. James "Jimmy" Monroe said Billie didn't mind her good friend Ava Gardner playing her. Billie just thought it would be better to have someone who had actually experienced drug addiction to know how to approach the role. Columbia Pictures was suffering financially and had to end many productions . See more
Some of the African-American male characters and extras sport modern (1972) hair styles with Afros or sideburns which were not in style in the 1930s. See more
I see what I want.
[motioning to Billie
And this is it.
Well, you can't always get what you see.
[Pulling him to the door
And since you don't want what you CAN get, you know where you can go. And this is it!
Our Love Is Here to Stay
music by George Gershwin
, lyrics by Ira Gershwin See more