Becoming Billie Holiday

audiobook (Unabridged)

By Carole Boston Weatherford

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In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 7, 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter. She named her Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holiday, possibly the greatest jazz singer of all time. Eleanora's journey into legend took her through pain, poverty, and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could possibly change her life—a voice. Eleanora could sing. That remarkable voice led her to Harlem nightclubs, the Apollo Theater, and a place in the spotlight with some of the era's hottest big bands. Billie Holiday sang from somewhere inside her that made it seem as if she had lived each lyric, and in many ways she had. This unique talent is what made Billie Holiday more than a singer. She was an artist. Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems that form the singer's fictional memoir, award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles Eleanora Fagan's metamorphosis into Billie Holiday. We hear the intimate voice of the artist as she examines her young life, her fight for survival, and the dream she pursued with passion.
Becoming Billie Holiday