Nina Simone

Nina Simone, the legendary black American singer, and also a composer, arranger, pianist and songwriter, was born at Tryon, North Carolina on 21 February 1933 as Eunice Waymon.

She studied at the Juilliard School of Music as a classical pianist, discovering her voice by accident. She became famous with her 1959 performance of the Gershwin song I Loves ya, Porgy.

To call her a blues or a jazz singer would be to belittle her catholic performing tastes, which encompassed African, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and western classical songs. Her phophetic anti-racist song Mississippi Goddamn put her in the limelight as a black civil rights campaigner, and made life in the USA for her unbearable. She left in 1973, eventually settling in France, where she died on 21 April 2003 in Carry-le-Rouet, aged seventy.