North Carolina (USA), 1933
Nina Simone wa born as Eunice Kathleen
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
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.