Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915 - July 17, 1959), born Eleanora
Fagan and later nicknamed Lady Day (see "Jazz royalty" regarding
similar nicknames), was an American jazz singer, composer, a
seminal influence on jazz and pop singers, and generally regarded
as one of the greatest female jazz vocalists.
Billie Holiday was posthumously inducted into the Grammy Hall of
Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor
recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have
"qualitative or historical significance Her distinct delivery made
Billie Holiday's performances instantly recognizable throughout her
career. Years of abuse eventually altered the texture of her voice
and gave it a prepossessing fragility, but the emotion with which
she imbued each song remained intact. Her last major recording, a
1958 album entitled Lady in Satin, features the backing of a
40-piece orchestra conducted and arranged by Ray Ellis.