African Americans on Postage Stamps

Billie Holiday

Jazz Singer

29-cent Billie Holiday stamp
The Billie Holiday stamp was issued September 17, 1994.

"You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling."
—Billie Holiday

Born Eleanora Fagan, Billie Holiday was one of the most influential jazz singers of all time. Known as “Lady Day,” she had a distinctive light timbre and graceful phrasing, even when singing popular jazz tunes dealing with heartbreak, despair, and loneliness. But whether the song was heavy and sorrowful or light and lively, Holiday’s presentation always seemed to carry a somber, wounded sadness and powerful emotional intensity.

The Black Experience