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March 30, 2021 | Music Notes Blog

Acclaimed Artist, Actress, and Activist Andra Day and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty Open Up On Billie Holiday’s Greatness and the Power of Music to Heal, Inspire, and Connect

RIAA is thrilled to close out 2021’s Women’s History Month with a rich and moving roundtable conversation honoring celebrated recording artist Andra Day for her groundbreaking, Golden Globe Best Actress-winning, Oscar nominated performance as the legendary singer, activist, and icon Billie Holiday. Ms. Day was joined by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (OH-3) and Tuwisha Rogers-Simpson, Vice President of Brand and Partnerships, National Museum of African American Music.

Hosted by RIAA’s Chief Operating Officer Michele Ballantyne and Disney’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations Susan Fox, the honest, challenging, and uplifting discussion explored Billie Holiday’s legacy and until-now underappreciated role sustaining and fueling the civil rights movement. CBC Chair Beatty reflected on the multi-cultural, cross-generational power of Ms. Holiday’s music and embraced Andra Day as a hero in her own right for bringing those songs and Ms. Holiday’s story to young people today.

Andra Day closed the roundtable by presenting the National Museum of African American Music with a plaque honoring Billie Holiday’s music, life, and immeasurable cultural and civil rights legacy  – and reflecting on what the event would have meant to Ms. Holliday. “She sees this and she feels this and I can feel her spirit overjoyed ‘cause she truly thought in her life that no one would ever remember her, that her legacy would be lost. I believe, as scripture says, ‘What is done in darkness will always come out to light.’ So we are seeing her illuminated today and that is the greatest honor I could ever be a part of.”