Review: The United States v. Billie Holiday : Pop Culture Happy Hour The United States v. Billie Holiday is the latest dramatization of the singer's tumultuous personal life. Directed by Lee Daniels and starring Andra Day, it focuses on the government surveillance Billie Holiday endured for her drug addiction and her song "Strange Fruit."
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'The United States v. Billie Holiday': A Tortured Artist and Audience

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'The United States v. Billie Holiday': A Tortured Artist and Audience

'The United States v. Billie Holiday': A Tortured Artist and Audience

'The United States v. Billie Holiday': A Tortured Artist and Audience

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/971799090/972510184" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Andra Day plays singer Billie Holiday in Lee Daniels' new movie about the singer's tumultuous personal life. Takashi Seida/Hulu hide caption

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Takashi Seida/Hulu

Andra Day plays singer Billie Holiday in Lee Daniels' new movie about the singer's tumultuous personal life.

Takashi Seida/Hulu

It seems safe to call Billie Holiday one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. But Holiday's personal life was famously tumultuous, marred by childhood abuse and a life-long drug addiction that made her the target of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. This government-sanctioned surveillance is the focus of the new Hulu movie The United States v. Billie Holiday, starring pop star Andra Day as Lady Day herself. It's the latest dramatization of the singer's troubles and triumphs, directed by Lee Daniels and written by Suzan-Lori Parks.

The audio was produced by Mallory Yu and edited by Jessica Reedy.