logo
GettyImages
GettyImages

Andra Day Is the 1st Black Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Winner in 3 Decades — inside Her Road to Success

Oyin Balogun
Mar 02, 2021
06:40 A.M.

Although she enjoys success as a music artist, Andra Day has added another feather to her hat of achievements. She recently became the 1st Black Golden Globe winner for best actress in a drama in 3 decades.

Advertisement

Andra Day, 36, is known for her sultry yet powerful voice whenever she handles the mic. However, she recently showed there was more to her than meets the eye when she played the role of Billie Holiday in Lee Daniel’s movie "The United States vs. Billie Holiday."

While she is the winner of the 1st Black Golden Globes for best actress in a drama in three decades, Day is the second Black woman ever to win Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama following Whoopi Goldberg’s win for her role in "The Color Purple."

Andra Day performs during the Virtual Parade Across America on January 20, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images

Andra Day performs during the Virtual Parade Across America on January 20, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images

Amazingly, the journey to success has been a long time coming for Day, who has worked tirelessly and meticulously to get to where she is today. Here is a look into how this success story began and where she is now.

Advertisement

EARLY LIFE

Andra Day was born on December 30, 1984, as Cassandra Monique Batie in Washington State before moving to San Diego, California, at the age of three.

At a young age, Day was introduced to the music of jazz vocalists such as Ella Fitzerald, Dinah Washington, and Billie Holiday, all of whom impacted her kind of sound.

Advertisement

She began singing in the church from a young age and was encouraged by her parents to pay attention to music. At the First United Methodist Church in Chila Vista, she honed her vocals by singing gospel music.

She would regularly drive from San Diego to Los Angeles when she got older and book gigs. Before getting her big break, Day worked as a children’s party performer, and this was her favorite job of all the jobs she did.

Advertisement

However, her big break came when her then-manager recorded her singing outside a mall in Malibu, on the street, with a microphone and amplifier.

The music also helped her realize that she needed to use her platform to serve the community more.

A few days later, the manager showed the video to a woman in a bakery. The woman happened to be Kai Millard Morris, Stevie Wonder’s wife (they were married at the time).

Advertisement

HER MUSIC CAREER

The incident, which took place in 2010, had Stevie Wonder calling Day to tell her he loved her voice and would love to work with her on a song. She revealed that Wonder wanted to know what sign she was.

At the time of the call, Day was living with her mother in a one-bedroom apartment in San Diego. She was not working and had no income. The opportunity presented itself at the best possible time as she was at rock bottom.

Advertisement

It turned out Wonder was too busy to team up then, but about a year later, he introduced her to veteran producer Adrian Gurvitz who ended up collaborating on Day’s debut album. She got an album deal with Warner Bros and has been rising since then.

Her debut album “Cheers to the Fall,” released in 2015, did incredibly well on the charts and was nominated by the Grammys for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance.

Advertisement

“RISE UP” AND BLM

One song off the album that did well and resonated with the Black Lives Matter Movement was “Rise Up.” The song, written about Day’s personal life and when her friend was diagnosed with cancer, became the unofficial anthem for BLM Movement.

According to her, it was an honor to have her song adopted as such because the movement represents standing up to oppression and persecution.

Advertisement

The music also helped her realize that she needed to use her platform to serve the community more. The song also went viral when a Baltimore Choir performed it.

Aside from lending her voice and song to the BLM movement, Day covered Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” in celebration of the Equal Justice Initiative in a stance of activism and lending her voice to the needs of others.

Advertisement

PLAYING BILLIE HOLIDAY

In 2019, Lee Daniels revealed that his next project would be the feature film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” and Andra Day would portray Billie Holiday’s character.

Before appearing on the jazz singer’s biopic, Day had no onscreen presence except for a cameo in “Marsal” and a voice acting role in the Pixar movie "Cars 3." Her take on the script and Holiday's life helped her get the role.

Aside from all these achievements, Day, whose father once met Adele and got a back massage, is also among the few artists who have performed at the White House.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

‘Something Is Not Right’: Beyoncé, 42, Baffles Fans with Her Outfit Combination at NYFW

February 14, 2024

Gladys Knight's Husband William McDowell Is Her 4th Spouse

January 15, 2024

Linda Ronstadt Now Shares Home with Adopted Daughter Who Is Her 'Source of Joy' as She Fights Disease

January 16, 2024

Jon Bon Jovi Almost Lost His Only Daughter – Glimpse into Tragic Day He Got ‘The Worst Phone Call Ever’

February 08, 2024

ABBA Star Anni-Frid Lyngstad Leads Quiet Life Years Following Tragic Death of Her Daughter

December 20, 2023

These 5 Girls Are '90s Idols and One of Whom Is Married to a Famous Soccer Player – Quiz

December 20, 2023

'You Are Too Old for That': Beyoncé Sparks Heated Debates with Her Revealing Outfit on New Song Cover

February 12, 2024

Brenda Lee Tops Billboard Hot 100 at 79 Yet Leads a Regular Chore-Filled Life

December 12, 2023

Dying Musician Mom Dedicated Last Song to 7-Year-Old Son – Fans Made Her 'Last Joy' Come True

January 31, 2024

Ricky Nelson’s 4 Kids Became Entertainers Too — More About Them

January 18, 2024

What Is Saweetie's Ethnicity? The Rapper's Experience Growing Up Multiracial

November 09, 2023

Raleigh Bacharach Is Burt Bacharach's Daughter Who Recently Got Married

January 14, 2024

Celebrities’ Christmas Outfits: Christmas Tree Costume, ‘Phoenix’ Shoes & Sleeveless Santa Coat

November 22, 2023

Cheater Gets Stepchild into Trouble, Jilted Wife Turns the Tables on Him – Story of the Day

May 03, 2024