The singer dazzled critics and audiences alike in the Lee Daniels-directed ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday,’ her first major film role.
Andra Day became the first Black woman to win the Best Actress Golden Globe in 35 years for her triumphant portrayal of Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
Day dazzled critics and audiences alike in her first major film role and clinched the award Sunday night. In her acceptance speech via video link, she said she was “in the presence of giants” when referring to her fellow nominees, including veteran actress Viola Davis, who was nominated for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Also nominated were Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand for Nomadland and Carey Mulligan for Promising Young Woman.
In her acceptance speech, Day tearfully thanked “the amazing, transformative, dynamic Billie Holiday, who just transformed me with this role and with her presence and with her spirit.” The singer was surrounded by family and friends, who were all visibly moved.
Davis’ co-star, the late Chadwick Boseman, won the Best Actor trophy for his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. His and Day’s wins mark the first time in Golden Globes history that both the Best Actor and Best Actress winners were African American.
The last Black woman to win the Best Actress award at the Golden Globes was Whoopi Goldberg for The Color Purple in 1986. Halle Berry was nominated for in 2002 for Monster’s Ball and lost, but then went on to win the Academy Award.