Billie Holiday (1915 – 1959), born Eleanora Fagan, was an American singer and songwriter. After moving to New York with her mother, she began singing in Harlem jazz clubs. She came up with her stage name, Billie Holiday, after film star Billie Dove. She was discovered at a jazz club by producer John Hammond, who helped launch her recording career. In 1939 she recorder one of her most well-known songs – “Strange Fruit,” about the lynching of African Americans.
She also performed at numerous venues throughout her career, including the Million Dollar Theatre. Holiday lost her battle with addiction and passed away at the young age of 44. Today she is still recognized as one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time.