Eunice Kathleen Waymon (born February 21, 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina in the United States) is an American musician, pianist and singer who has merged almost every musical style that has nurtured her and has helped enrich her with her immense talent, jazz, blues, classical, soul, folk, R-B. gospel and pop.
From her first performances, she took the pseudonym Nina Simone out of admiration for the French actress Simone Signoret, whom she saw in the film “Casque d’Or” by Jacques Becker.
Nina Simone’s Southern roots undoubtedly explain much of her life and work. His political involvement alongside Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael or Malcolm X. His many militant anthems against racial segregation. His friendship with Miriam Makeba, a leading figure in the anti-apartheid struggle. Her taste finally for a jazz heavily tinged with blues, thick as a night of sadness, or for the poignant covers, like jacques Brel’s “Don’t Leave Me” that she will transcend, sitting behind her piano, superb and upsetting until her last breath, on April 21, 2003 in Carry-le-Rouet, in the Bouches-du-Rhône in France, her adopted country.
Because of her radical commitments, both political and musical, she unfortunately experienced in her lifetime only a belated recognition but which will remain unanimous, even today and surely for a long time.