Legal name: Eunice Kathleen Waymon
Nina Simone (/ˈniːnə sɨˈmoʊn/; born Eunice Kathleen Waymon; February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist who worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.
Born in North Carolina, the sixth child of a preacher, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist, but was denied a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition, because she was black. To fund her musical education and become a classical pianist, she began playing at a small club in Atlantic City.
Simone recorded more than forty albums, mostly between 1958, when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue, and 1974, and had a hit in the United States in 1958 with "I Loves You, Porgy".
Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.