Billie Holiday died with just $50 to her name taped to her thigh, but on the 100th anniversary of her birth the jazz legend is enjoying a renaissance as a trailblazer for generations of singers. Holiday was broken down by heroin use, police harassment and a husband who would beat her so severely she would tape her ribs before concerts. When her body gave way at age 44 in 1959, she was under arrest in her hospital bed for narcotics and her savings consisted of the $50 slipped by a reporter who wanted a deathbed interview. But ahead of the centennial of her birth on April 7, a more complete picture of Holiday is emerging as artists acknowledge her foibles yet hail her not only for her ineffable voice but for her dignified stance against racism. Author Lanie Robertson has seen the changes in perceptions first-hand. His play ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,’ which depicts Holiday looking back at her life before a meager

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