Nina Simone

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Nina Simone
Nina Simone
Simone in 1975
Background info
Full name Eunice Kathleen Waymon
Birthday/Birthplace (1933-02-21)February 21, 1933
Tryon, North Carolina, US
Deceased April 21, 2003(2003-04-21)
Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, France
  • R&B
  • jazz
  • blues
  • folk
  • soul
  • classical
  • gospel
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • pianist
  • arranger
  • activist
  • composer
Active Years 1954–2003
Record Labels Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA Victor, CTI, Legacy Recordings
Official Website

Eunice Kathleen Waymon , better known by her stage name Nina Simone (Tryon, United States, February 21, 1933 – Carry-le-Rouet, France, 21) April 2003), was a singer, composer and American pianist of jazz, blues, rhythm and blues and soul. She is known by the nickname High Priestess of Soul (High Priestess of Soul).

Stylistically, the word that best characterizes Nina Simone is eclecticism. His voice, with its own rank of a contralto, was characterized by his passion, his breathiness (panting, choked, breathless voice) and his tremolo.

The influence of Duke Ellington is evident in all Nina’s work, but especially in certain types of compositions full of improvisation and spiritual closeness. Nina achieves the complicity of the listener with an intentional use of silences and minimizing accompaniment. When he sang, he sometimes made striking transitions between the whisper, the cry and the lament, to try to underline the states of mind enunciated in the songs.

A great fighter for the civil rights of people of African descent, this struggle is expressed on many occasions through her songs. Simone left the United States in 1969, following the assassination of Martin Luther King, weary of racial segregation against African-Americans.

Of complicated personality, she became haughty and vulnerable, and strongly passionate. In the music industry, she had a temperamental reputation, a characterization that Simone took very seriously. Although his personality was arrogant and distant, in his last decades he seemed to enjoy approaching his audiences, telling anecdotes and fulfilling requests.

Nina Simone’s Biography

Like other African-American singers, he found a source of inspiration in Marian Anderson, and he began singing in his local church, showing at the same time a great talent with the piano, which he started playing with three years. When she made her public debut at a piano recital at the age of twelve, her parents, who had sat in the front row, were forced to move for other white assistants to take their places, but she refused to continue playing until her parents returned. to occupy the assigned place, which happened. This type of living conditions would motivate her later to become involved in the Civil Rights Movement.

Nina Simone 1969

Thanks to the support of her sponsors, including her former music teacher, she was able to study piano at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York City, but the lack of resources prevented her from achieving her dream of becoming the first black concert pianist from the United States. Later her family moved to Philadelphia, where she tried to get a scholarship at the Curtis Music Institute, but was rejected, she protested, because of the color of her skin. (Later the Curtis Institute defended itself saying that the cause was the great number of candidates, many of high pianistic level, for a very small number of places, noting that scholarships had already been given to several black students with great success. ) Due to this disappointment, Simone decided to abandon classical music, and approached blues and jazz, after starting work in a nightclub in Atlantic City to help her family financially.

Professional career

The stage name of Nina Simone was adopted in 1954 & nbsp ;; Nina was the alias that a boyfriend had given her (the word “girl” in Spanish, pronounced by an English speaker), and Simone took it from the French actress Simone Signoret whom she had seen in the film Casque d’or. p>

He became known to a wider audience thanks to his interpretation of the songLove You Porgy by George Gershwin, which would become his only hit of the Top 40 in the United States. Then came the single My Baby Just Cares for Me (which would be a hit in the 1980s in England when used in a commercial for the Chanel No. 5 perfume).

During the 1960s, Simone was involved in the Civil Rights Movement and recorded some political songs, including To Be Young, Gifted and Black (later played by Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway), Blacklash Blues, Mississippi Goddam (in response to the murder of Medgar Evers and the terrorist attack on the church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, by white supremacists and that resulted in the deaths of four black girls),WishKnew How wouldFeel to Be Free and Pirate Jenny, by Kurt Weill, located in a hotel in the south.

In 1961, Simone recorded a version of the traditional song House of the Rising Sun, which would also be recorded later by Bob Dylan and The Animals. Other songs that made her famous werePut a Spell on You, Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles, Four Women,shall be released, and Aint Got No (I Got Life). Nina’s versatility as an artist is evident in all her music, which often had a simplicity equivalent to trova. In the same concert,went from religious themes (gospel) to blues and jazz, from songs like For All We Know, classic European style numbers and counterpoint figures. In 1968 Sinnerman’s Simone theme appeared in Norman Jewison’s The Thomas Crown Affair, which took his music to larger audiences. The new version of the film shot in 1999 with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo again included Simone. Other films have used Sinnerman in his soundtrack, such as Inland Empire by David Lynch and Cellular by David R. Ellis in 2004. Also, in that same year the movie Before Sunset used the song “Just In Time” in one of his final scenes .

United States departure (1974-2003)

Simone during a concert in Morlaix, France, in May 1982.

In September 1970, Simone left the United States in the direction of Barbados, following disagreements with agents, record companies and with the US Internal Revenue Service, which she attributed to the racism of American society. He returned in 1978, when he was wanted for tax evasion (he had refused to pay for several years in protest to the Vietnam War), so he returned to Barbados, where he maintained a relationship with Prime Minister Errol Barrow. In the 80s he sang regularly at London’s Ronnie Scott jazz club. The singer and friend of Nina, Miriam Makeba, convinced her to go live in Liberia. He subsequently resided in Switzerland and the Netherlands before settling in Aix-en-Provence in southern France in 1992.

In 1992, Nina Simone’s autobiography entitledPut a Spell on You appeared (ISBN 0-306-80525-1).

His usual companions during this time were Leopoldo Fleming (percussion), Tony Jones (bass), Paul Robinson (drums), Xavier Collados (keyboard) and his musical director Al Schackman (guitar).

Nina was one of the stars of festivals such as the Nice Jazz Festival of 1997 and the Thessalonica Jazz Festival in 1998.

At the Guinness Blues Festival in Dublin in 1999 her daughter, Lisa Celeste, acted as “Simone”, singing duet with her mother some songs.

On July 24, 1998, Nina Simone was the special guest at Nelson Mandela’s 80th birthday party. On October 7, 1999 he received an award for his lifelong artistic achievements in Dublin.

In 2000, he received the title of Honorary Citizenship of Atlanta, the Diamond Award for Excellence in Music of the Association of African American Music of Philadelphia and the Honorable Musketeer Award of the Compagnie des Mousquetaires d’Armagnac of France.

In 2009, they incorporated the song “Pirate Jenny (Live)”, for the soundtrack of the movie Watchmen.

He died while sleeping in Carry-le-Rouet, a spa town near Marseille in 2003.

Nina Simone Net Worth – $5 Million

More Facts about Nina Simone

The Nina Simone’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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