Billie Holiday, one of the greatest voices of all time, a woman of breath-taking talent and global popularity, was throughout her short life a figure of controversy - a black woman in a white man’s world, a victim, a pioneer and a rebel whose iconic protest song, Strange Fruit, earned her powerful enemies.
In the late 1960’s, journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of Holiday’s life. Over the next decade, she tracked down and tape-recorded interviews with those who knew Holiday best.
Raw, emotional and brutally honest, these incredible testimonies ranged from musical greats like Charles Mingus, Tony Bennett, Sylvia Syms and Count Basie to Holiday’s cousin, school friends, lovers, lawyers, pimps and even the FBI agents who arrested her. But Kuehl’s book was never finished and the tapes unheard – until now.
With unprecedented and exclusive access to Kuehl’s astonishing 200 hours of never-before-heard interviews, and presented in vivid colour for the first time, Billie is an arresting and powerful tale of one of the greatest singers who ever lived, and of the woman who would sacrifice her life in the pursuit of writing it.