Billie Holiday has become a mythic presence in absentia. William Gottlieb/Getty Images hide caption

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Jazz Night In America

Billie Holiday: A Singer Beyond Our Understanding

Most artists belong to their times. But Holiday, born 100 years ago Tuesday, fits in the present.

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Cassandra Wilson's Billie Holiday tribute album is titled Coming Forth By Day. Mark Seliger/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Seliger/Courtesy of the artist

In a conversation aired on WBGO, Jessye Norman credits the study of jazz with her understanding of song interpretation. Carol Friedman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Carol Friedman/Courtesy of the artist

Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set. Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol

Queen Esther stands in front of Billie Holiday's gravesite in New York City. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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