Nina Simone

~ Person

Legal name: Eunice Kathleen Waymon


Nina Simone (/ˈnnə sˈmn/; 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. With the help of her supporters in Tryon, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York but was unable to continue because of the high fees. She was later denied a scholarship to study at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. Simone became fully convinced her rejection had been entirely due to her race, a statement that has been a matter of controversy.

To make a living, Simone chose to play "cocktail piano" at a night club in Atlantic City, where she was told she had to sing to her own accompaniment, effectively launching her career as a jazz vocalist. She 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.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1958 Little Girl Blue 8
1959 The Amazing Nina Simone 4
1961 Forbidden Fruit 3
1962 Nina Simone Sings Ellington 2
1964 Broadway Blues Ballads 7
1964 Folksy Nina 1
1965 I Put a Spell on You 5 5
1965 Pastel Blues 5
1966 Let It All Out 2
1966 Nina Simone With Strings 1
1966 Wild Is the Wind 5
1967 High Priestess of Soul 4
1967 Nina Simone Sings the Blues 6
1967 Silk & Soul 3
1969 Nina Simone and Piano! 3
1969 To Love Somebody 4
1971 Here Comes the Sun 1
1972 Nina Simone Sings Billie Holiday 1
1972 Right On! 1
1973 Gospel According to Nina Simone 1
1978 Baltimore 3
1979 A Very Rare Evening 1
1982 Fodder on My Wings 3
1982 My Baby Just Cares for Me (essentially her debut album Little Girl Blue with a new track order) 4
1988 Nina's Back 5
1990 In Concert / I Put a Spell on You 1
1990 Pastel Blues / Let It All Out 1
1990 Wild Is the Wind / High Priestess of Soul 1
1993 A Single Woman 2
1993 My Baby Cat 1
1997 Saga of the Good Life and Hard Times 1
1998 Forbidden Fruit / Nina Simone at Newport 1
1998 Folksy Nina / Nina With Strings 1
1998 The Amazing Nina Simone / Nina Simone at Town Hall 1
1998 To Love Somebody / Here Comes the Sun 1
1999 Gin House Blues 1
1999 Let It Be Me 1
1999 Nina Simone & Piano! / Silk & Soul 1
2000 Sings Duke Ellington / At Carnegie Hall 1
2003 Sings the Standards 1
2004 Sings the Blues / 'Nuff Said 1
2004 The Jazz Biography 1
2005 Nina Simone for Lovers 1
2010 Trilogy (Little Girl Blue / The Amazing Nina Simone / At Town Hall) 1
2010 3 Originals (Little Girl Blue / The Amazing Nina Simone / Nina Simone at Town Hall) 1
2013 Love Me or Leave Me 1
My Baby Just Cares for Me (2-in-1 reissue of Little Girl Blue / The Amazing Nina Simone) 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1967 Ne me quitte pas 4
1970 The Best of Nina Simone 1
1970 The Best of Nina Simone (black cover) 2

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