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Billie Holiday Quotes from the Woman Who Changed Jazz

Take a look at the Billie Holiday quotes to learn more about the famous Jazz singer!

Billie Holiday is a famous American jazz and swing singer known for changing jazz music through vocal delivery and skill.

She cut her first record at the age of 18, but her music career started long before that.

Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan in 1915.

Her mother was an unwed teenager, which contributed to a difficult childhood for Eleanora.

However, she began singing as a young teenager in Harlem nightclubs.

This is where she was eventually discovered by John Hammond, who signed her to a recording contract in 1935.

She experienced commercial success throughout the 1930s and 40s.

However, at that time, she began to have problems with drug abuse and legal issues, which led to her serving a short prison term.

Eventually, in the 1950s, she performed again with success.

Check out the Billie Holiday quotes to learn more about this amazing woman.

Billie Holiday Quotes On Being Yourself

You can’t live someone else’s life. You have to know yourself and be yourself as evidenced by the quotes below.

1. “If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” – Billie Holiday

2. “If I don’t have friends than I ain’t got nothing.” – Billie Holiday

3. “You can’t copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any real feeling.” – Billie Holiday

4. “I always knew I could sing because I always did sing. But I never knew I could make any money out of it until I just had to.” – Billie Holiday

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5. “Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain.” – Billie Holiday

6. “One day a whole damn song fell into place in my head.” – Billie Holiday

7. “You can get in just as much trouble by being dumb and innocent as you can by breaking the law.” – Billie Holiday

8. “Sometimes it’s worse to win a fight than to lose.” – Billie Holiday

9. “There’s no damn business like show business – you have to smile to keep from throwing up.” – Billie Holiday

10. “People don’t understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it.” – Billie Holiday

Inspirational Billie Holiday Quotes

It is always good to read about inspiring people that have been through life. Check out the quotes below for some more inspiration.

11. “I never hurt nobody but myself, and that’s nobody’s business but my own.” – Billie Holiday

12. “Love is like a faucet: it turns on and off.” – Billie Holiday

13. “I’m always making a comeback, but nobody ever tells me where I’ve been.” – Billie Holiday

14. “No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music, or it isn’t music.” – Billie Holiday

15. “I don’t think I ever sing the same way twice. The blues is sort of a mixed-up thing. You just have to feel it. Anything I do sing is part of my life.” – Billie Holiday

16. “I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That’s all I know.” – Billie Holiday

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17. “Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what’s more than enough.” – Billie Holiday

18. “A kiss that is never tasted, is forever and ever wasted.” – Billie Holiday

19. “I never had a chance to play with dolls like other kids. I started working when I was six years old.” – Billie Holiday

20. “The difficult I will do right now. The impossible will take a little while.” – Billie Holiday

What Did You Think About The Billie Holiday Quotes?

Even though she had a short career, she left a lasting impact.

Many artists of her time period were influenced by her work, including Frank Sinatra.

In 1937 alone, Holliday had 16 best-selling songs. She was the most successful commercial artist of the year.

When Billboard began publishing R&B charts, she had two songs make the list.

Billie Holiday died at the young age of 44 from cirrhosis.

After her death, Billie Holiday continued to achieve success.

She received four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Did you learn anything new about Billie Holiday after reading the Billie Holiday quotes?

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Stephanie Kirby
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