I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Andra Day perform live. It’s not that I’m some sort of super-fan (though I do think she’s pretty talented). Truth is, it was all her doing. For much of the past decade, the hard-working vocalist seemed to be on the lineup at every event I covered — from a Tony Bennett tribute concert at Radio City Music Hall to a CMA Country Christmas special at the Grand Ole Opry, and pretty much anything and everything in between. In fact, for a while there, I kind of felt sorry for her — it seemed like her entire career consisted of crooning on TV specials.
Well, now it looks like all her hard work might finally pay some dividends. As you might already know, Day is starring the new film The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, portraying the troubled balladeer. It comes out Friday, so naturally she’s been making the chat-show rounds — including this performance of the new number Tigress & Tweed (which pays homage to Holiday’s classic Strange Fruit) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. We’ll have to wait and see if the film and her performance live up to the inevitably breathless pre-release hype, but it’s still nice to think that next year, Day might actually get to attend an award show where she’s a guest of honour and not just the entertainment. Wonder who they’ll get to sing?