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She won for The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

By Christopher Luu
Feb 28, 2021 @ 11:31 pm
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Tonight marked the very first Golden Globe nomination for Andra Day (real name Cassandra Batie) — and she took home the prize for her role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. The win made history, making Day only the second Black woman, ever, to win the award for Best Actress - Drama. The last time it happened was back in 1987, when Whoopi Goldberg won for The Color Purple.

In the film, Day plays the titular Billie Holiday. Lee Daniels directed the feature, which was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks.

Golden Globes Red Carpet
Credit: Getty Images

The other nominees this year for Best Actress - Drama were Viola Davis for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand for Nomadland, and Carey Mulligan for Promising Young Woman.

Before her win, Day explained that she was "terrified" to take on the role.

"When I embarked on it, I was like, 'This is such a bad idea! I'm not an actress.' And I didn't wanna ruin Billie's legacy," Day told The New York Post. "But now I can look back and say, 'You know what? Maybe this was supposed to be.'"

The Los Angeles Times notes that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the Golden Globes, has no Black members among its 87-member voting body. When an investigation revealed underrepresentation, several groups organized a Time's Up social media protest, which told the HFPA: "A cosmetic fix isn't enough."