Billie Holiday Statue

  • Billie-Holiday-Statue-WWP

Place Category: Memorial & StatuePlace Tags: Places in MD

  • Description

    A statue of Billie Holiday, an iconic Jazz singer and one of the most prominent vocalists of all time. Holiday, also known as “Lady Day,” grew up in Baltimore, had to face many difficulties in her life. She was a child of teenage parents, was raped at the age of 10, worked as a prostitute, and struggled with addiction. Despite it all, she became a renowned singer influencing the music industry to this day.
    The eight-foot six-inch tall bronze statue, created by James Early Reid, was first dedicated in 1985, then it was placed on a simple cement base. It took 24 years for the statue to stand on an appropriate pedestal, and on July 16th, 2009, it was rededicated.
    In honor of her life and legacy, the statue depicts Holiday in the midst of performing, wearing a strapless evening gown, with a gardenia flower in her pulled-back hair. Her life story is engraved on the granite pedestal as well as two sculptural panels – one inspired by the lyrics of “God Bless the Child,” shows a newborn baby; the other, inspired by the lyrics of “Strange Fruit,” shows a man after been mutilated, referring to the lynching during the Jim Crow era.

    Historic Pennsylvania Avenue's Billie Holiday Statue Rededication

    Baltimore, 7.17.09
  • More Info
    Address: Billie Holiday Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21217

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  • Photo credit - WWP team