In 1940 jazz icon Billie Holiday recorded her most popular and well-known song, God Bless The Child, which she had written with frequent collaborating composer Arthur Herzog Jr. The song was inspired by a clash she had with her mother. When she was a child, Billie's mother was in and out of her life, and she was mostly in the care other other family members. By the time she was a teenager, young Billie had a career singing in Harlem nightclubs. In 1940, now 25, she was in desperate need of money and asked her mother to help her with a loan. Over previous years she had given her mother thousands of dollars to help with her mother's restaurant. Then, after having been fired from touring with Count Basiie's crew, she found herself struggling financially. Despite her popularity, as she had just introduced her dark hit Strange Fruit, she needed some cash. Billie's mother refused to help her, and as the story goes, her mother exclaimed "God bless the child that got his own." The song began to form after the upsetting argument. At the beginning of the song, Billie seems to be responding directly to the bible (Matthew 25-29) when she says: "Them whose got shall get, them whose not shall lose. So the bible says, but it still is new." In 1976, God Bless The Child was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame award.
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