Andra Day made Golden Globes history last night as she became only the second Black woman to pick up the gong for Best Actress Drama for her expert portrayal of Billie Holiday in the latest Hulu film, The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
The Golden Globes has a pretty unenviable record when it comes to awarding Black actors prizes. Day becomes only the second Black woman to take home an award, coming nearly 35 years after Whoopi Goldberg became the first for her role in The Color Purple.
Considering the magnitude of the event, Day gave a somewhat tearful acceptance speech, making sure to thank “the amazing, transformative, dynamic Billie Holiday, who just transformed me with this role and with her presence and with her spirit.”
The award was Day’s first acting nomination and win at the Globes and also became the first winner within this category for a film that was debuted via a streaming platform.
Day began her career as a wonderfully gifted and Grammy-nominated songwriter and was given a nomination alongside Raphael Saadiq for Best Original Song with ‘Tigress and Tweed’, eventually losing out to The Life Ahead song ‘Io si’.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday is being rightly revered as it takes on the final years of Holiday’s life. The singer faced continuous harassment from the U.S. government for her performance ‘Strange Fruit,’ which noted the horrors of lynching and highlighted the racist overtones of American society.
Day’s performance has long been receiving critical accolades as she encapsulated the spirit and determined talent of Holiday to a tee. Now, it seems, she’s been professionally recognised too.