BY ADRIAN MCCOY
A new website and multimedia archive dedicated to the late Billie Holiday — billieholiday.com — is a gateway to the legendary singer’s life and work. The site is a treasure trove for fans of Holiday’s music and also an excellent introduction for anyone not familiar with it.
Holiday was born April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia and grew up in a jazz rich environment in Baltimore. By the time she was in her teens, she was singing and recording and went on to work with many of the leading bands, including Count Basie, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. Before her death at 44, she created a prolific collection of recordings.
The site was created by The Bicycle Music Group and the Estate of Billie Holiday to mark and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Holiday’s birth.
It’s filled with music, performances, videos and photos, as well as a wealth of historic information and background.
There’s a large collection of recordings and videos to explore. The listener can hear the songs and read background on each, along with the lyrics. Spotify subscribers can listen to albums in their entirety.
Highlights include performance video of “Strange Fruit” — her chilling and powerful reading of a protest song about lynchings in the South.
The site is complemented by a presence on other platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.
There are links to a montage of photos and album covers on Pinterest, a timeline documenting her life and achievements and links to other websites devoted to Holiday.