Billie Holiday was born 100 years ago today on April 7, 1915. She made her impact on the world with her soul-stirring, heartbreaking and unique interpretations of song. Her life story is filled with highs and lows, majesty and myth, but in the final analysis of this great artist’s contribution, it’s all about the music. Just, LISTEN…LISTEN….LISTEN! From “Violets For My Furs”, “Lady Sings The Blues” to “Autumn In New York”, there is definitely a Billie Holiday tune to match your mood.

Check out this site for a sampling of some of her best music:

Go here for interactive celebration of the centennial:
Don’t forget to tweet your favorite tune using #BILLEAT100

Vocalist, Cassandra Wilson (who has a brand new project in tribute to Billie Holiday’s legacy, “Coming Forth By Day”) said it best:
“For all the praise that Billie Holiday gets as a vocal stylist, she’s seldom acknowledged as a musical genius. She was the first to prove that you could make soft sounds and still have powerful emotional impact. She was understanding jazz long before Miles ever stuck a mute in his horn; she was the true “birth of cool”.

That covers it!

Be sure to tune into The Jazz Spot Fridays at 8 PM on your GPB Radio Network station, your mobile device or streaming live from our website. We’ll be celebrating the Billie Holiday Centennial all year long, starting this Friday!

If you have questions, you can e-mail me at, follow me on twitter @masanijazz or join the fun on The Jazz Spot on GPB Radio on Facebook.
Remain inspired by Jazz music and culture EVERYDAY!

Peace, Love & Jazz,