Diana Ross (The Supremes)
Hall of Fame Essay
Billie Holiday didn’t just sing a song, she took possession of it.
And she repossessed it every time she sang. From the beginning, even in 1933 when she was eighteen, recording for the first time (with Benny Goodman), and “scared half to death” by the big studio microphone, she liked to move in slowly.
She would feel out the bones of a tune, lift up a lyric (something as mundane as “out of the frying pan”), shake it out, then smooth the words like a glove over the contours of her own heartache.
Lady Day, such an original, so authentic, no one like her.
Cleveland, Ohio 44114