Eleanora Fagan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1915. Growing up in extreme poverty, and being raised by a single mother “Billie” didn’t have any hope for a future in this world. She dropped out of school in the fifth grade, and ran around doing errands for her mother who owned a brothel at the time. At the age of twelve, “Billie” and her mother moved to Harlem, New York. After being arrested multiple times for prostitution, “Billie” eventually found herself a gig as a singer at Pod and Jerry’s Log Cabin. At the young age of twenty, John Hammond heard “Billie” perform and very shortly after reported that she had been the greatest singer he has ever heard. With the backing of Hammond, “Billie” went on to work with some of the greatest jazz musicians to ever walk this earth: Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and saxophonist Lester Young. Unbeknownst to them, Young and “Billie” would create some on the greatest jazz recordings of all time.