Music

Nina Simone

Born 21 February 1933. Died 21 April 2003.
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Nina Simone is inducted into Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame

Radio 2 listener Jim MacMillan picks Nina Simone for Michael Ball's Singers Hall of Fame

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Biography

Nina Simone (born Eunice Kathleen Waymon; February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. She worked in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

The sixth child of a preacher's family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. Her musical path changed direction after she was denied a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. Simone was later told by someone working at Curtis that she was rejected because she was black. So as to fund her continuing musical education and become a classical pianist, she began playing in a small club in Philadelphia where she was also required to sing. She was approached for a recording by Bethlehem Records, and her rendering of "I Loves You, Porgy" was a hit in the United States in 1958. Over the length of her career Simone recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958, when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue, and 1974.

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Personal Relationships

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Nina Simone at Town Hall

    Nina Simone at Town Hall 1959

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    An audience with the High Priestess of Soul.
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