20 years without Nina Simone

April 21 marks the 20th anniversary of Nina Simone‘s death. Born 90 years ago, Eunice Kathleen Waymon became known by her artistic name, adopted when she emerged as a singer in bars, an unforeseen – but necessary – livelihood alternative, since her goal of being a classical pianist ran into even stronger racism in her life. era.

An icon of Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement, Nina was a controversial figure in her lifetime. A piano prodigy, she studied classical music at Julliard but was barred from entering the Curtis Institute of Music, in Philadelphia, because she was black, one of the facts that made her embrace the fight against racism in one of the most assertive currents.

As a singer, she had a flexible repertoire, with American standards, like, soul and even rock. With a “strong personality”, later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, for many years she had no effective treatment because she was confused with Depression, a fact that helped her to isolate herself and generate negative legends about her. She moved to France in the 1990s, where, in routine exams, she discovered that she had advanced breast cancer. She fought for 10 years, but the disease metastasized and Nina Simone died at home on April 21, 2003.

Here is a playlist with his hits, to remember his unique art and personality.


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