Eunice Kathleen Waymon better known as Nina Simone. Singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist.
Nina Simone 1933-2003
Trained as a classical pianist, Simone’s musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach. In one of her first jobs, playing at a jazz club, she was told she had to accompany herself. That’s when she started jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.
Simone had always included songs in her repertoire that drew on her African-American heritage. In 1964 she addressed racial inequality in the song “Mississippi Goddam”, her response murder of Medgar Evers and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four young black girls.