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Herbie Nichols (1919–1963) was an American pianist and composer, highly regarded for his singular compositions and distinctive playing.

Nichols was born in New York, and started out playing Dixieland jazz. He befriended Thelonious Monk at Minton’s Playhouse before he was drafted into the army. After the war he recorded an album for Blue Note, but went largely unrecognised until his song “Serenade” had lyrics added. It became known as “Lady Sings The Blues” and became associated with Billie Holiday. He died from leukaemia at age 44. Posthumously, his compositions have received greater appreciation, with musicians like Roswell Rudd and Mary Lou Williams championing his visionary work.