the internet lyrics database
5
Become fan 17 5.0 / 5 (3) Share

Nina Simone

Genre:Ethnic/Folk, Blues, Jazz
Rank:2139
Albums:123
Songs:350

Most Popular Songs (more)

1Mississippi Goddam! lyrics
Nina Simone
2Wild As The Wind lyrics
Nina Simone
3It Be's That Way Sometime lyrics
Nina Simone
4He Ain't Comin' Home No More lyrics
Nina Simone
5Brown Eyed Handsome Man lyrics
Nina Simone feat. Hal Mooney
6O - O - H Child lyrics
Nina Simone
7Solitaire lyrics
Nina Simone
8If You Knew lyrics
Nina Simone
9Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood lyrics
Nina Simone
10Ne Me Quitte Pas lyrics
Nina Simone

Most Popular Albums (more)

1Love Songs
Nina Simone
2Little Girl Blue
Nina Simone
3I Put A Spell On You
Nina Simone
4Compact Jazz
Nina Simone
5Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Nina Simone
6La Légende
Nina Simone
7Nina's Choice
Nina Simone
8Nina Simone At Town Hall
Nina Simone
9The Colpix Singles
Nina Simone
10The Amazing Nina Simone
Nina Simone

Biography

Nina Simone (/ˈniːnə sᵻˈmoʊn/; born Eunice Kathleen Waymon; February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Simone employed 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, Waymon aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown of Tryon, North Carolina, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

Waymon then applied for a scholarship to study at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied despite a well-received audition. Waymon became fully convinced this rejection had been entirely due to racial discrimination, a statement that has been a matter of controversy. Years later, two days before her death, the Curtis Institute of Music bestowed on her an honorary degree.

To make a living, Eunice Waymon changed her name to "Nina Simone". The change related to her need to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play "the devil's music" or "cocktail piano" at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, and this effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist.

Simone recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958, when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue, and 1974. She had a hit in the United States in 1958 with "I Loves You, Porgy".

Simone's musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.

Simone was known for her temper and frequent outbursts. In 1985, she fired a gun at a record company executive, whom she accused of stealing royalties. Simone said she "tried to kill him" but "missed". In 1995, she shot and wounded her neighbor's son with an air gun after the boy's laughter disturbed her concentration. According to a biographer, Simone took medication for a condition from the mid-1960s on. All this was only known to a small group of intimates, and kept out of public view for many years, until the biography Break Down and Let It All Out written by Sylvia Hampton and David Nathan revealed this in 2004, after her death. Singer-songwriter Janis Ian, a one-time friend of Simone's, related in her own autobiography, Society's Child: My Autobiography, two instances to illustrate Simone's volatility: one incident in which she forced a shoe store cashier, at gunpoint, to take back a pair of sandals she'd already worn; and another in which Simone demanded a royalty payment from Ian herself as an exchange for having recorded one of Ian's songs, and then ripped a pay telephone out of its wall when she was refused.

Throughout her career, Simone assembled a collection of songs that would later become standards in her repertoire. Some were songs that she wrote herself, while others were new arrangements of other standards, and others had been written especially for the singer. Her first hit song in America was her rendition of George Gershwin's "I Loves You, Porgy" (1958). It peaked at number 18 in the pop singles chart and number 2 on the black singles chart.[42] During that same period Simone recorded "My Baby Just Cares for Me", which would become her biggest success years later, in 1987, after it was featured in a 1986 Chanel No. 5 perfume commercial.[43] A music video was also created by Aardman Studios.[44] Well known songs from her Philips albums include "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" on Broadway-Blues-Ballads (1964), "I Put a Spell on You", "Ne me quitte pas" (a rendition of a Jacques Brel song) and "Feeling Good" on I Put a Spell On You (1965), "Lilac Wine" and "Wild Is the Wind" on Wild is the Wind (1966).[45]

"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Feeling Good", and "Sinner Man" (Pastel Blues, 1965) have remained popular in terms of cover versions (most notably a version of the former song by The Animals), sample usage, and its use on soundtracks for various movies, TV-series, and video games. "Sinner Man" has been featured in the TV series Scrubs, Person of Interest, The Blacklist, Sherlock, and Vinyl, as well as in movies such as The Thomas Crown Affair, Miami Vice, and Inland Empire, and sampled by artists such as Talib Kweli and Timbaland. The song "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was sampled by Devo Springsteen on "Misunderstood" from Common's 2007 album Finding Forever, and by little-known producers Rodnae and Mousa for the song "Don't Get It" on Lil Wayne's 2008 album Tha Carter III. "See-Line Woman" was sampled by Kanye West for "Bad News" on his album 808s & Heartbreak. The 1965 rendition of "Strange Fruit," originally recorded by Billie Holiday was sampled by Kanye West for "Blood on the Leaves" on his album Yeezus.

Simone's years at RCA-Victor spawned a number of singles and album tracks that were popular, particularly in Europe. In 1968, it was "Ain't Got No, I Got Life", a medley from the musical Hair from the album 'Nuff Said! (1968) that became a surprise hit for Simone, reaching number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and introducing her to a younger audience. In 2006, it returned to the UK Top 30 in a remixed version by Groovefinder.

The following single, a rendition of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody", also reached the UK Top 10 in 1969. "The House of the Rising Sun" was featured on Nina Simone Sings the Blues in 1967, but Simone had recorded the song in 1961 and it was featured on Nina at the Village Gate (1962), predating the versions by Dave Van Ronk and Bob Dylan. It was later covered by The Animals, for whom it became a signature hit.

Simone is regarded as one of the most influential recording artists of the 20th century. According to Rickey Vincent, she was a pioneering musician whose career was characterized by "fits of outrage and improvisational genius". Pointing to her composition of "Mississippi Goddam", Vincent said Simone broke the mold, having the courage as "an established black musical entertainer to break from the norms of the industry and produce direct social commentary in her music during the early 1960s".

In naming Simone the 29th greatest singer of all time, Rolling Stone wrote that "her honey-coated, slightly adenoidal cry was one of the most affecting voices of the civil rights movement", while making note of her ability to "belt barroom blues, croon cabaret and explore jazz — sometimes all on a single record." In the opinion of AllMusic's Mark Deming, she was "one of the most gifted vocalists of her generation, and also one of the most eclectic". Creed Taylor, who annotated the liner notes for Simone's 1978 Baltimore album, said the singer possessed a "magnificent intensity" that "turns everything—even the most simple, mundane phrase or lyric—into a radiant, poetic message".

By contrast, Robert Christgau argued that Simone's "penchant for the mundane renders her intensity as bogus as her mannered melismas and pronunciation (move over, Inspector Clouseau) and the rote flatting of her vocal improvisations." Regarding her piano playing, he dismissed Simone as a "middlebrow keyboard tickler ... whose histrionic rolls insert unconvincing emotion into a song".


Pictures (8)

Nina SimoneNina SimoneNina SimoneNina SimoneNina SimoneNina SimoneNina SimoneNina Simone


Fans (17)

mz_soulfyre_757nellbell321angel___baloo83djnickyLOVE757myradctom47cushy_bSuicidalBlondeBellaRayjrjudy9mmysterKiyaeMclamb123 show more (16-17 of 17)

Similar Artists

Frank SinatraNorah JonesKatie MeluaElla FitzgeraldEtta JamesNat King ColeAmos LeeGeorge BensonMelody GardotHaley ReinhartRobert Downey, Jr.RumerCamilleFred AstaireVince Guaraldi Trio show more (16-31 of 35)


More artists

  • popular on LSI
  • new on LSI

Contributors

leaderboard activity

Comments

Facebook (0) LetsSingIt (12)