The Best Bessie Smith quotes

Bessie Smith quotes thumbnail

Bessie Smith was born on April 15, 1894, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was one of eight children of a preacher and a seamstress. When she was just two years old, her family moved to Philadelphia. Her father died when she was nine, leaving the family destitute. Bessie and her siblings made their living by singing on the streets for pennies. In 1912, she moved to New York City, where she became one of the most successful blues singers of all time. She recorded more than 160 songs in her lifetime and helped define the sound of the blues. Bessie Smith died on September 26, 1937, at the age of 43. Her legacy lives on to this day.

We are glad to present you the most inspiring Singing quotes from Bessie Smith, and much more.


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About Bessie Smith

birth of the author

April 15, 1894

death of the author

September 26, 1937

genre of the author

Classic Blues, Jazz

occupation of the author

Singer, Actress

instrument of the author


date of the author

Years Active:

institution of the author

Columbia, Okeh

productions of the author

Associated Acts:
Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters


The Greatest Blues Singer in the World Will Never Stop Singing. โ€” Bessie Smith

I don’t think I’m singing. I feel like I’m playing a horn…What comes out is what I feel. โ€” Billie Holiday

Singing songs like ‘The Man I Love’ or ‘Porgy’ is no more work than sitting down and eating Chinese roast duck, and I love roast duck. โ€” Billie Holiday

I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That’s all I know. โ€” Billie Holiday

the greatest blues singer in the world will never stop singing Bessie Smith quote

Inspiring Phrases From Bessie Smith

Love is like a faucet, it turns off and on. โ€” Billie Holiday

People don’t understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it. โ€” Billie Holiday

I don’t think I missed a single picture Billie Dove ever made. I was crazy for her. I tried to do my hair like her, and eventually, I borrowed her name. โ€” Billie Holiday

And when you’re poor, you grow up fast. โ€” Billie Holiday

There’s no damn business like show businessโ€“you have to smile to keep from throwing up. โ€” Billie Holiday

Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen and I was three. โ€” Billie Holiday

You can be up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles, but you can still be working on a plantation. โ€” Billie Holiday

Various Statements From Bessie Smith

I ain’t goodโ€“lookin’, but I’m somebody’s angel child. โ€” Bessie Smith

It’s a long old road, but I know I’m gonna find the end. โ€” Bessie Smith

Redundant Thematics

In Bessie Smith Statements


There’s nineteen men livin’ in my neighborhood, Eighteen of them are fools and the one ain’t no doggone good. โ€” Bessie Smith

i ain t good lookin but i m somebody s angel child Bessie Smith quote

You can’t copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any real feeling. No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music. โ€” Billie Holiday

I don’t want no drummer. I set the tempo. โ€” Bessie Smith

Them that’s got shall get, Them that’s not shall lose. So the Bible says, And it still is news. Mama may have, Papa may have, But God bless the child that’s got his own. โ€” Billie Holiday

What is Bessie Smith remembered for?

Known in her lifetime as the โ€œEmpress of the Blues,โ€ Smith was a bold, supremely confident artist who often disdained the use of a microphone and whose art expressed the frustrations and hopes of a whole generation of black Americans.


You can’t copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any real feeling. โ€” Billie Holiday

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