Women in the Performing Arts

Billie Holiday

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

Billie Holiday (1916-1959) is one of the most famous and influential jazz singers of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Holiday is most well known for her incredible control over the unique sound of her voice. Although Holiday experienced severe racism and discrimination, she still managed to make a career for herself by performing at various nightclubs during the 1930’s. Despite her success and fame, Holiday struggled with mental illness throughout her life, and eventually died due to effects from drug addiction and alcohol.

The Billie Holiday stamp was designed by Howard Koslow for the American Music Series: Jazz Singers Issue. The stamp was issued in Greenville, Mississippi, during the Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival. The stamp contains a photograph of Billie Holiday taken by William O. Gottlieb in 1940.