Forgotten Gemz: Nina Simone

Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), better known by her stage name Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

She was one of the most extraordinary artist of the twentieth century, an icon of American music.  She was the consummate musical storyteller, a griot as she would come to learn, who used her remarkable talent to create a legacy of liberation, empowerment, passion and love through a magnificent body of works.  With such great talents she earned the moniker “High Priestess of Soul”.

In 1993, Don Shewey wrote of Nina Simone in the Village Voice, “She’s not a pop singer, she’s a diva, a hopeless eccentric … who has so thoroughly co-mingled her odd talent and brooding temperament that she has turned herself into a force of nature, an exotic creature spied so infrequently that every appearance is legendary.”

Nina Simone died in her sleep on April 21, 2003, her musical legacy continues to live on and influences many present day artists.  Check out a couple of Nina’s amazing performances below along with some  awesome free remixes!

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