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EP 534: Director Lee Daniels on Jazz Icon Billie Holiday

Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) talks about his latest film The United States vs. Billie Holiday and how the 1971 movie Lady Sings the Blues inspired him to go into entertainment. He reveals that he always has a personal connection to each of his films, that The United States vs Billie Holiday was the first movie that he has ever directed sober. and how his own struggle with drugs and alcohol gave him insight into Holiday’s lifelong addiction. We discuss how the iconic song Strange Fruit that put Billie Holidays in the cross-hairs of a powerful drug agent who was intent on destroying her and why Lee believes that she deserves a place among America’s Civil Rights Heroes. Plus Lee talks about his upcoming miniseries about another famous black entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday streams on Hulu beginning Friday, February 26. Follow Lee Daniels on Twitter at @leedanielsent.


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