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Billie Holiday ( April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Critic John Bush wrote that Holiday "changed the art of American pop vocals forever." She co-wrote only a few songs, but several of them have become jazz standards, notably "God Bless the Child", "Don't Explain", "Fine and Mellow".
Billie Holiday. Shocking fact: Her recording of Gloomy Sunday is, legendarily, responsible for more suicides than any other song, and has been banned from radio play by many countries - England, for example, lifted its ban only a few years ago.