Eunice Kathleen Waymon or better known as Nima Simone was an American singer. musician, songwriter, arranger, and civil rights activist. Being an extremely talented individual, her music career included a wide variety of musical genres such as classical, blues, jazz, R&B, pop, and gospel. Nina Simone is an artist whose music left a deep impact on the music industry.
Born in a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Nina had eight siblings. But, she always aspired to be a concert pianist. Nina started playing piano at the tender age of four. She started studying classical music with an Englishwoman named Muriel Mazzanovich. Music inspired her and she developed a lifelong love of Johann Sebastian Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Beethoven, and Schubert. Later, with the help of a few people from her hometown, she managed to join the Juilliard School of Music in New York City.
To earn a living, Nina used to play piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. This is when she changed her name to Nina Simone. Her work in nightclubs and performances eventually launched her music career as a jazz vocalist. Throughout her career, she went on to record more than 40 albums. These albums were recorded between 1958 and 1974. Her debut album was “Little Girl Blue”.
Influence on Modern Day Music
Nina’s work in many nuances and flavors that made up more than 40 albums is truly remarkable. Her music style included a fusion of pop with gospel and classical music. Nina was also the recipient of a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2000 for her interpretation of “I Loves You, Porgy”. Apart from her music career, Nina Simone was a civil rights activist. She is regarded as an influential recording artist of the 20th-century jazz, R&B and cabaret genres.
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