Arguably one of the greatest jazz singers of all time, Billie Holiday was a figure of controversy throughout her short life (she died at 44). A black woman who preferred white audiences, her story is one of exploitation, violent drug abuse, vindictive love affairs, and politics.
In 1971, journalist Linda Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of Billie. Over eight years, she tracked down and tape-recorded interviews with the characters who populated Holiday’s life, ranging from jazz greats including Charles Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett and Count Basie to her step-parents and school friends, jail-mates and lawyers, pushers, pimps and even the FBI.
Kuehl’s book was never completed and the interview tapes remained lost until the 'Billie' team unearthed them for this feature, which also utilises drama, animation and still images alongside the archive material.
- Type of film
- James Erskine
- Victoria Gregory, Barry Clark-Ewers
- Executive Producer
- Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, Mike Runagall
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Last updated 6th February 2018