Jazz History

In: Film and Music

Submitted By LEGOFChannel
Words 658
Pages 3
Edgardo Del Rosario
MUS 114
Richard Armandi
21 February 2016
Billie Holiday The career of jazz singer, Billie Holiday, was full of intense, life-changing moments. Billie was born on April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia. One of the first major events in her early life was being raped at the age of 11. Billie was always an outspoken person, who often swore. At the age of 14, she joined a brothel. She claimed she was 24, but her lie was soon exposed and was punished. These types of experiences molded her strong exterior and personality, which changed the course of her life. Billie added her own improvisation to her singing. When she sang at restaurants, she would go around to different tables, and sing her own improvised chorus each time. People were very impressed by her improvised singing, and caught the attention of recording artists. He was able to land a part in a Duke Ellington movie as well. In a certain scene, Billie’s character was beaten. They had to record the scene so many times that she was bruised black and blue towards the end. Her life events so far show a contrast between her natural talent as a singer, and the harsh brutalities of being a black female during a time of prejudice. Eventually Billie Holiday would have a masochistic side to her, opting to stay in relationships where she is abused. Her suitors introduced her to various drugs, such as opium and heroin. Needless to say, she would easily become addicted to them. The influence of drugs on Billie’s life was a game-changer; she was arrested multiple times for possession of drugs. The first time she went to prison for drugs, her character was so shaken up that the whole time she was there, she did not sing a single note. It was a completely tragic, disheartening time for Billie; she was never the same after that experience. I thought Billie was partly a victim of life, but at the same time I…...

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