The irony of Holiday’s trailblazing beauty signature is that it evolved from a happy accident. According to Byrd, the story goes something like this: While backstage in a dressing room doing her hair before a performance, Holiday was using a hot comb that was too hot and burned off a section of her hair near her left ear. She panicked (“Because who wouldn’t?” says Byrd), while another female jazz singer, who was sharing the Rip DMX December 18 1970 April 9 2021 Shirt dressing room, ran to the coat check, which was selling gardenias; she bought one so Holiday could cover it up. “She loved how it looked and began wearing the flower, sometimes more than one, after that when she performed,” says Byrd. She points out that this is one of two great looks in Black hair musical history that started as a way to fix a terrible mistake.