Awards

Andra Day's Billie Holiday Portrayal Wins Golden Globe for Best Actress

Andra Day
Myriam Santos/Getty Images

Andra Day is seen prior to the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Feb. 28, 2021.

At the 2021 Golden Globes on Sunday (Feb. 28) evening, Andra Day walked away with the prestigious Golden Globe for actress in a drama motion picture for her portrayal of the incalculably influential jazz singer Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Day, a singer in her own right whose 2015 single "Rise Up" is a contemporary socio-political anthem, was happily shaken and emotional during her acceptance speech. Surrounded by friends, Day saluted "the amazing, transformative, dynamic Billie Holiday [who] transformed me with this role and her presence and her spirit."

Forty-eight years ago, another singer – Diana Ross – was nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in a feature film, Lady Sings the Blues, but did not win the award. Day is just the second Black actress to win for best actress in a motion picture, drama (a category that dates to the Globes' first year, 1943). Whoopi Goldberg was the first, for 1985's The Color Purple.

The win at the Globes bodes well for Day's Oscar chances.

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