In 1938 holiday became one of the first black

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In 1938, Holiday became one of the first black vocalists to be featured with a white band when she became the lead vocalist for Artie Shaw. Life on the road proved 6 "Billie Holiday." - holiday/about-the-singer/68/ 7 "Billie Holiday." Encyclopedia of World Biography . Detroit: Gale, 2008. Gale U.S. History In Context . Web. 6 Dec. 2012. 8 "Billie Holiday."
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bitter for the singer, though; racial segregation made simple things like eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom logistically difficult. Fed up when she could not enter one hotel through the front door with the rest of the Shaw orchestra, Holiday abandoned touring, returning to New York clubs and cabarets as a solo artist 9 . Although Billie Holiday was becoming famous for her jazz talent she still faced many challenges such as racism and segregation like many other African Americans at the time. Her encounter with segregation led her to stop singing with big bands and continue with her solo career. Shortly after her departure from Artie Shaw, in the upcoming years Billie released three major hits that increased her popularity. Billie had trouble releasing her song “Strange Fruit” because her record company, Columbia, refused to issue it because they considered it to be controversial but eventually it was released by another small record company, Commodore, and surprisingly the song turned out to be a big success. A deeply powerful song about lynching, “Strange Fruit” was a revelation in its disturbing and emotional condemnation of racism. Holiday’s voice could be both quiet and strong at the same time. Songs such as “God Bless the Child” and “Gloomy Sunday” expressed not only her undeniable talent, but her incredible pain as well 10 . Billie’s audience seemed to appreciate her taste for slow, gloomy songs about love gone bad which actually represented the negatives things happening in her life. Billie also saw her popularity grow as she participated in the film New Orleans where she worked alongside Louis Armstrong and Kid. 9 "Billie Holiday." Contemporary Black Biography . Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Gale U.S. History In Context . Web. 6 Dec. 2012. 10 "Billie Holiday." - holiday/about-the-singer/68/
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As her fame and fortune was growing, her private life was also beginning to fall apart as she became addicted to narcotics and alcohol. Due to her addiction to drugs she was arrested many times for narcotics violations and had her cabaret license revoked which prevented her from performing in clubs and nightspots. She compulsively attached herself to men who mistreated her, and she began drinking heavily. Her health suffered;
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