The high priestess of soul and icon of the civil rights movement celebrates Black Classical Music.
In 2008, "Rolling Stone" listed the artist Nina Simone, born in 1933 as Eunice Kathleen Waymon, as number 29 of the 100 best singers of all time. In December 2017, Simone, who chose her stage name after the actress Simone Signoret, was honored with an acceptance into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rock'n'Roll is somewhat misleading in that the singer, pianist and songwriter was at home in Blues and Jazz, or in Black Classical Music, as she called her style.
Her fans, however, called her the "high priestess of soul". In the sixties, Simone became heavily involved in the US civil rights movement. With songs like "Mississippi Goddam" and "To Be Young, Gifted, And Black" (lyrics: Weldon Irvine) she became one of the musical leading figures of this movement. In 1962 she gave birth to her daughter Lisa Celeste Stroud, after which her life broke up piece by piece.
She fled her marriages, had affairs, sought - in vain - her destiny in Africa, undertook European tours that alienated her from her political struggle in the USA, and had increasing difficulties with the record industry. Her last regular album was released in 1993. In the same year she moved to the South of France, where she lived for ten years and died in 2003 after a long period of cancer.