Billie Holiday

A film chronicling the legacy of late jazz legend Billie Holiday is heading to the big screen in America.

Simply titled Billie, the film will revisit the singer's life through the eyes of superfan and journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl, who recorded over 200 hours of interviews for a biography she began writing about her music icon.

Kuehl sat down for in-depth interviews with Billie's contemporaries, including Tony Bennett, Count Basie, and Charles Mingus, as well as close friends, relatives, exes, and others in her life. She even went so far as to sit down with the FBI agents who arrested the star for drug possession, and her fellow inmates during her brief jail stint.

Sadly, Kuehl died in 1979, before completing her book, and now filmmaker James Erskine will use the never-before-heard chats to document Holiday's life story onscreen.

It won't be the first time the life of Holiday, who died in 1959, is played out on camera - Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, and Richard Pryor starred in 1972's classic biopic Lady Sings the Blues, named after the title song on her 1956 album.

Meanwhile, Precious filmmaker Lee Daniels was said to be in talks to direct a new biopic about the jazz icon last year.

Reports at the time suggested singer Andra Day and Atlanta actor Lakeith Stanfield were tapped for lead roles.

Holiday, who was also a heavy drinker, died in 1959 after suffering from heart failure and fluid in her lungs, known as a pulmonary edema, caused by the degenerative alcoholic disease cirrhosis of the liver. She was just 44.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • Topic Influencer

    died in 1959 after suffering from heart failure and fluid in her lungs, known as a pulmonary edema, caused by the degenerative alcoholic disease cirrhosis of the liver.
    You left out the sad sad part on how she was handcuffed to her death bed for drug possession.

    *I dont want Lee Daniels associated with shit having to do with NAH icon.

  • Yoni7

    She had da roaches of da liver, sis! Damn.

  • MsSapphire9800

    Sorry not familiar with neither of his I had to rely on google and you tube.....but it is a Lee Daniels production. Why not someone who looks similiar to her with her voice range,

  • Yoni7

    We only got 28 days in this month. TWENTY-EIGHT!! The shortest AND coldest month of the year......and you done only gave us THREE (if that many) damn Black History post. Jussie and his sh!t don't count. But thanks for this one. *mumble* Six damn days left in this month and this was all we got. *about to stage a jussie to demand we get what we were promised*

  • Yoni7

    Andra Day, has some features and voice. She's good.

  • Skin Deep Beauty


  • Guest

    I LOVE Billie Holiday! I have that same picture hanging in my office. She was an amazing creative, unfortunately, as it is with many creative(s) she battle many demons.

  • MsSapphire9800

    I AM there two different biographies or what....'Billie,' directed by James Erskine, will tell Holiday's story through the eyes of late journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl, who began a biography of the artist in 1970 but never finished it......Director Lee Daniels’ next film could be a new biopic about the inimitable jazz singer Billie Holiday. Daniels is in talks to helm Billie, from a script by Suzan Lori-Parks, a Pulitzer Prize-winner.

  • Kanyade

    Meanwhile,filmmaker Lee Daniels was said to be in talks to direct a new biopic about the jazz icon last year.


    How about Dee Rees to direct? Or Lena Waithe (sp?) or anybody else who won't throw a misogynistic/misogynoir slant on the biopic.

  • Fire & Ice

    Time to throw Lee Daniels all the F away!! Ugh I don't want him involved with Billie's story.

  • NeverSurprised

    Wow. What fond memories. I remember going to see Lady Sings the Blues and every black girl and woman in the audience stood up and screamed when Billy Dee's face first apoeared.

  • Mama Dee’s Wig Maker

    I've always loved this movie

  • MsSapphire9800

    LAWD...Billy Dee Williams was fine on screen...but in person...he have the worst skin I ever....blew my crush away.

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    Black history= entertainers minstrels and people known to turn the other cheek
    White history= conquers philosophers geniuses and discoveries
    We must change this

  • Kanyade

    Was his skin always bad? And yes, I agree, that man was FINE. I never loved a space-conman as much as I knew I could until I saw Billy as Llando Calrissian in nineteen hundert and eighty-somethin'.

  • Kree

    I just knew I was going to marry Billy D Williams when I was a little girl....he was FINE!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    we're discussing Black history (not your family history)... have you never heard of GW Carver, Toussaint-Louverture, Benjamin Banneker, Ralph Bunche. Joycelyn Elders, or even MLK???????

  • MsSapphire9800

    YES...I bumped into him going into Chemical Bank in NY...he has a face full of potholes.

  • Ghost

    This lady is the best! I grew up listening to Jazz with my parents. When my daddy died he left me all of the Jazz albums and CDs. I have every single recording she made...what a treasure. I’m definitely there for the documentary ?

  • Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!
  • Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    that's awesome!

  • Kanyade

    Well I reckon his once-fine self can't have everything "right". lol

  • Trace da Ace

    yes!!! I'm here for this!!

  • Soda

    ?Here I sit outside your door, talk to me
    I'll be good to you
    I'd be so good to you
    If we just stay here we could
    Put on some Billie Holiday records ?...
    ~Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Outside Your Door, 1993 This part of my Billie Holiday Collection

  • MsSapphire9800

    I just googled him...look like he a chenical peel..all those small dark round spots...

  • Ghost


  • Wreckognize Game

    My crazy azz had a crush on Biggie Smalls from Let’s do it Again. Just because he looked like my first love Sugar Ray Leonard. ?RIP Mr. Calvin Lockhart.

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    First of all black history is my history ...and they people you named or people who white supremacists allowed them to do what they did

  • Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!


  • Keekz

    Lou Daniels is directing ?. Please say this isn’t true. ??

  • Topic Influencer

    FBI didnt care. Arrested her anyways.

  • Topic Influencer

    you done only gave us THREE (if that many) damn Black History post. Jussie and his sh!t don't count.
    According to Belcalis he has been ruining Black History Monff EVERYWHERE. Folks were mad tho. Bc SHE said it.

  • Yoni7

    FBIIIIIIIIIII????? Damn, Billie.

  • Reenaface

    To would be directors and producers of this project. " Please don't f*ck this up!" Our images have taken enough hits these past few weeks.????????????????????

  • Rhyme and Reason

    Leave this woman alone, why now?

    In the midst of a white folk drug/health CRISIS (EPIDEMIC)!

    Go tell “The Sam Cooke” Story, currently on Netflix! TRAGIC!!!

  • Tee Tee


  • Tee Tee

    You know they don't want to hear that ?????

  • Tee Tee


  • Chicagowise

    I wish someone would do documentaries on lesser known entertainers like Wayne Cooper from Cameo or Teena Marie. When I was young and wanted to be a singer, they were among the vocalists whose style I tried to imitate.

  • Logan Roberts

    Sandra did a black history post every two weeks?

  • dontgetblocked

    Billy Holiday had a horrible heroin addiction. It ruined her career. She also had a hard life with a 13 year old mother who had mental issues.