This year for Black History Month, Billboard looks to salute Black women for their strength, resiliency, and courage. With Black female artists always being innovative and audacious with their art and platforms, especially during last year’s fight for racial equality, it was necessary to empower those with our stage this month. Every Monday and Wednesday for Black History Month, Billboard will dish out new playlists from Black women artists highlighting powerful messages.
On Monday (Feb. 8), singer and actress Andra Day will take the reins with her mini collection. This month, the Grammy-nominated singer segues into the film world after playing revolutionary jazz performer Billie Holiday. Starring in Lee Daniels’ upcoming movie The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Day embraces the challenges of portraying the revered artist, even though she first didn’t want to audition for the role.
“When I’m in movies, I’m losing myself in another person, and you have a responsibility to that person,” she says in a new profile with Bazaar. Despite her trepidation, Day soared during her auditions and now can add “movie actress” into her resume.
For her new playlist, Day channels Beyonce, Kehlani, and Holiday to swing home her message of pushing through no matter how tough your days are. Check her “Strong and Bold” playlist below.
1. “Find Your Way Back, ” Beyoncé
“This song reminds me of where I came from and the strength of those roots.”
2. “Crzy,” Kehlani
“This song is hella fun and reminds me to never let anybody tell you you’re too much or [to] dim your light.”
3. “Nina,” Rapsody
“Black. Women. Period.”
4. “Pick Up Your Feelings,” Jazmine Sullivan
“I really love this whole album ’cause it’s all the things Black women aren’t ‘supposed’ to say, or the emotions we’re not ‘allowed’ to be honest about.”
5. “To Zion,” Lauryn Hill
“This song and album is obviously legendary, but she following what she believes is right for her no matter what people are saying.”
6. “Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday
“The Godmother of Civil Rights. She fought for us ’til the end. Thank you, lady.”