Billie Holiday

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About this artist

Billie Holiday had a fairly limited range when it came to singing — she was no vocal gymnast in the same mode as Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald, who could hit highs and lows in a way that made them seem like nearly perfect singers. What Holiday had, and what makes her one of the best jazz vocalists of all time, was pure and honest emotion. She lived inside the music while performing and what you hear on songs such as "Lover Man," the devastating "Strange Fruit," and her own "God Bless the Child" is not just talent, but also sadness, strength, and the weariness of a woman who is living close to the edge. Her control of mood and tempo and her skill at bringing the feeling of intimacy to the listener's ears is what makes Billie Holiday one of music's greatest vocal talents.

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