Billie Holiday Lost Her Performing Privileges To Drug Abuse
From her absentee father, sexual assault as a child, and career as a teen prostitute, Billie Holiday had a rough upbringing which drove her to turn to her vices in hopes to forget. Her escape of choice was alcohol and drugs, particularly heroin. Not only would her addiction make her an easy target of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, but it would greatly affect her career.
In 1947, Billie Holiday was arrested for possession of illicit substances and after spending one year in a West Virginia prison, she returned to find herself unable to perform at many of the stages she frequented due to her conviction. Not to mention, this would not be her last drug-related arrest, nor would it mean the end of her sining career either, however. Despite her inability to obtain a license at clubs and cabarets, she was able to perform at concert halls, such as Carnegie Hall – where she performed not long after she was released from prison.