Andra Day delivered a resounding cover of Billie Holiday‘s legendary protest song, “Strange Fruit.”
Andra’s vulnerable take on the anti-lynching song evokes the same raw emotion Holiday’s version did when it was released in 1939. The haunting song, which compares lynching victims to “strange fruit” hanging from trees, marked a defining moment in Holiday’s career and continues to be one of the most powerful and evocative protest songs ever written. Holliday’s performance of the song also made her a target of the FBI.
Day’s cover of “Strange Fruit” follows her cover of Holiday’s “All of Me,” which will both be featured on the soundtrack to the upcoming film The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Andra stars as Holiday in the Lee Daniels-directed movie, alongside Tyler James Williams, Natasha Lyonne, and Moonlight star Trevante Rhodes. The Hulu film documents Holiday’s tumultuous career, including spending years as a target of the then Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which sought to imprison Holiday on drug charges in retaliation for her activism.
Andra Day is widely known for her vocal anthems such as 2015’s “Rise Up,” which she performed at Wednesday’s presidential inauguration.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday arrives on Hulu February 26th.
By Rachel George
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