Today marks Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday. Her life was full hardships from poverty and an attempted sexual assault as a child to abusive relationships, depression, drugs, and alcohol as an adult. However, Holiday was also a force of nature within the music world. Considered to be one of the best jazz vocalists of all time, Holiday’s work inspired numerous musicians. She died on July 17, 1959 at the age of 44. In 2000, Holiday was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In addition to being a legendary jazz singer, she was also a dog lover. According to some sources, the singer owned a beagle, a mutt, a poodle, a terrier, a Great Dane and a couple of Chihuahuas. Lena Horne, a fellow jazz singer, once stated that dogs were Holiday’s “only trusted friends.” She was often photographed with Mister, her beloved boxer. He even attended many of Holiday’s performances throughout the clubs of Harlem as well as her appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall. There is even a children’s book about Holiday and Mister!