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DAY HONORS HOLIDAY WITH "TIGRESS"

Andra Day evokes the militant spirit of James Baldwin and echoes lines from “Strange Fruit” in “Tigress & Tweed,” a song she co-wrote for her starring role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Warner Records released "Tigress & Tweed," written by Day and Raphael Saadiq, today, a month before The United States vs. Billie Holiday debuts (2/26) on Hulu.

Day says the song is the offspring of one of Holiday’s signatures, Abel Meeropol’s “Strange Fruit,” about lynchings in the South, which she recorded in 1939.

“If Billie Holiday were with us now, I believe she’d want to see that ‘Strange Fruit’ has evolved," Day says. "If ‘Strange Fruit’ was a call to awareness, ‘Tigress & Tweed’ is a call to action because she laid the groundwork. Raphael Saadiq sent the perfect track, and the lyrics finally came to me like a flood after a prayer one day. I hope people are strengthened by truth and love when they hear it.”

Day makes her feature acting debut as Holiday, spotlighting the years the famed jazz singer was a target of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which sought to punish her for singing highly politicized songs like “Strange Fruit” and making efforts to integrate her audiences.

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