Nina Simone Early childhood Beginning of musical career Her songs as anthems Leaving the country The return Last performances Links
Daughter of an ordained Methodist minister, her house was filled with music and she learned to play the piano early. Soon , her family saw that young Eunice had special musical talent and sponsored classical piano lessons for her.
She began playing the piano in 1954 in Atlantic City She adopted the name on Nina Simone to avoid her mother's religious disapproval of playing in a bar. She began to draw large audiences of younger people who were fascinated by her repertoire and style. Soon, she was playing in better nightclubs.
In the 1960s, Nina Simone was part of the civil rights movement and later black power movement. Her songs are considered as anthems of those movements.
She wrote "Mississippi Goddam" after the bombing of a Baptist church in Alabama where 4 children were killed. This song, often sung in civil rights contexts was not often played on the radio
With the growing of women's movement, her song "Four Women" and her cover of Sinatra's "My Way" became feminist symbols as well. "
Nina's growing bitterness over America's racism, her disputes with the record companies and troubles with the IRS, all led to her decision to leave the United States.
In 1985, Nina returned to the States to record and perform, choosing to pursue fame in her native land. She focused on what would be popular, de-emphasizing her political views.
In 2000 she performed her last tour with great success. She died on her residence of Carry-le-Rouet in southern France on April 23rd, 2003.
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