Apollo Theater To Celebrate Billie Holiday's 100th Birthday
March 2, 2015 at 12:39 PM (PT)
THE APOLLO THEATER and ABSOLUTELY LIVE ENTERTAINMENT will celebrate the 100th birthday of BILLIE HOLIDAY with presentations honoring the late jazz and blues singer, featuring two-time GRAMMY-winning musician CASSANDRA WILSON.
HOLIDAY will be inducted into the APOLLO WALK OF FAME on MONDAY, APRIL 6th, joining other legends including ELLA FITZGERALD, JAMES BROWN and LOUIS ARMSTRONG. CASSANDRA WILSON and APOLLO Pres./CEO JONELLE PROCOPE will present the legendary singer’s WALK OF FAME plaque during the ceremony. Accepting the honor on behalf of THE ESTATE OF BILLIE HOLIDAY, which is managed by THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY, will be one of its managing partners, STEVEN SALM. CASSANDRA WILSON's new LEGACY RECORDINGS release, "Coming Forth By Day," will come out the following day (APRIL 7th), as well as a special concert, A Celebration of BILLIE HOLIDAY, marking WILSON's first time headlining the APOLLO on APRIL 10th.
BILLIE HOLIDAY, born ELANORA FAGAN, had a special relationship with the APOLLO THEATER dating back to its founding year, 1934. The then-19-year-old performed “If the Moon Turns Green” and “The Man I Love” and would go on to perform at the iconic venue at least 23 times. In the late 1940s, after she lost her NEW YORK CITY cabaret card, the APOLLO remained one of the few NYC venues where HOLIDAY could perform.
“It is an honor to celebrate BILLIE HOLIDAY and her many contributions to the jazz and blues world, on her centennial birthday,” said APOLLO THEATER Exec. Producer MIKKI SHEPARD. “The WALK OF FAME is our way of paying tribute to the APOLLO LEGENDS who have transformed the AMERICAN entertainment landscape. BILLIE HOLIDAY without a doubt is the personification of this. Her voice and presence permeated mainstream culture which lead to her becoming the most influential jazz singer of her day and among the most esteemed vocalist of the century. These initiatives serve as part of the APOLLO’s mission to use its legacy to inform and support contemporary artists.”
“Coming Forth by Day is an homage dedicated to the beauty, power, and genius of BILLIE HOLIDAY. A collection of musical spells, prescriptions for navigating the dubious myths surrounding her life and times, this record is a vehicle for the re-emergence of BILLIE's songbook in the 21st century," said WILSON.
On March 31, SONY' LEGACY RECORDINGS will also release "The Centennial Collection" -- a newly curated single disc anthology showcasing 20 of BILLIE HOLIDAY’s finest recordings.