5 perfume commercial. (2016) by Alan Light. The documentary Nina Simone: La légende (The Legend) was made in the 1990s by French filmmakers and based on her autobiography I Put a Spell on You. Simone's consciousness on the racial and social discourse was prompted by her friendship with black playwright Lorraine Hansberry. In late 2019, American rapper Wale released an album titled Wow... That's Crazy, containing a track called "Love Me Nina/Semiautomatic" which contains audio clips from Simone. [27] By this time, Simone performed pop music only to make money to continue her classical music studies, and was indifferent about having a recording contract. After the release of her live album Nina Simone at Town Hall, Simone became a favorite performer in Greenwich Village. In 2002, the city of Nijmegen, Netherlands, named a street after her, as "Nina Simone Street": she had lived in Nijmegen between 1988 and 1990. However, a miscommunication between her Husband/Manager; Stroud and herself meant that He interpreted her leave of absence as a desire to get a Divorce, as she had left her wedding ring. She performed the song live on the album Black Gold (1970). She sang “Backlash Blues”, written by her friend Langston Hughes on her first RCA album, Nina Simone Sings the Blues (1967). [31][32] Promotional copies were smashed by a Carolina radio station and returned to Philips. The performances were sometimes brilliant and at other times Nina Simone gave up after fifteen minutes. In 1991 Nina Simone exchanged Nijmegen for the more lively Amsterdam, where she lived for two years with friends and Hammond too. Nevertheless, she wrote in her autobiography that she and her family regarded all races as equal. Her father, Rev. She had just scored a huge European hit with the song My Baby Just Cares for Me. One example is Nina Simone’s Backlash Blues. [43][44] Simone recorded her last album for RCA, It Is Finished, in 1974, and did not make another record until 1978, when she was persuaded to go into the recording studio by CTI Records owner Creed Taylor. Simone garnered a second nomination in the category in 1971, for her Black Gold album, when she again lost to Franklin for "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)". Mister rich man, rich man, Open up your heart and mind. Simone's ashes were scattered in several African countries. [115], The promotion from the French Institute of Political Studies of Lille (Sciences Po Lille), due to obtain their master's degree in 2021, named themselves in her honor. Nina Simone as a great singer songwriter artist and activist who on harsh times wrote and recorded Backlash Blues (ridiculitthe so called white backlash against the civil rights movement) Young Gifted and Black and Mississippi Goddam. She took a job as a photographer's assistant, but also found work as an accompanist at Arlene Smith's vocal studio and taught piano from her home in Philadelphia. Singer-songwriter Janis Ian, a one-time friend of Simone's, related in her own autobiography, Society's Child: My Autobiography, two instances to illustrate Simone's volatility: one incident in which she forced a shoe store cashier at gunpoint to take back a pair of sandals she'd already worn; and another in which Simone demanded a royalty payment from Ian herself as an exchange for having recorded one of Ian's songs, and then ripped a pay telephone out of its wall when she was refused. & it is easy to identify with her soul searching & inspirational worth. Blige. Backlash Blues by is a poem by Langston Hughes that that was later given a melody and was sung by Nina Simone. She said that the song was "like throwing ten bullets back at them", becoming one of many other protest songs written by Simone. The sixth of eight children[9] in a poor family, she began playing piano at the age of three or four; the first song she learned was "God Be With You, Till We Meet Again". She variously contended that she married or had a love affair with a Tunisian around this time, but that their relationship ended because, "His family didn't want him to move to France, and France didn't want him because he's a North African. She sang "Backlash Blues" written by her friend, Harlem Renaissance leader Langston Hughes, on her first RCA album, Nina Simone Sings the Blues (1967). [44] The abuse was so unbearable that Lisa became suicidal and she moved back to New York to live with her father Andrew Stroud. [56], Throughout her career, Simone assembled a collection of songs that would later become standards in her repertoire. Discouraged, she took private piano lessons with Vladimir Sokoloff, a professor at Curtis, but never could re-apply due to the fact that at the time the Curtis institute did not accept students over 21. Simone's social commentary was not limited to the civil rights movement; the song "Four Women" exposed the eurocentric appearance standards imposed on black women in America,[55] as it explored the internalized dilemma of beauty that is experienced between four black women with skin tones ranging from light to dark. Enjoyed this interesting piece of journalism which formed a fitting tribute to her abilities. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and her takes on "Feeling Good" and "Sinnerman" (Pastel Blues, 1965) have remained popular in cover versions (most notably a version of the former song by The Animals), sample usage, and their use on soundtracks for various movies, television series, and video games. This led to a re-release of the recording, which stormed to number 4 on UK's NME singles chart, giving her a brief surge in popularity in the UK and elsewhere. Only a few recognized her, but most Nijmegen people did not know who she was. [20] Knowing her mother would not approve of playing "the Devil's music", she used her new stage name to remain undetected. [69], In naming Simone the 29th-greatest singer of all time, Rolling Stone wrote that "her honey-coated, slightly adenoidal cry was one of the most affecting voices of the civil rights movement", while making note of her ability to "belt barroom blues, croon cabaret and explore jazz — sometimes all on a single record. (1968) contains live recordings from the Westbury Music Fair, April 7, 1968, three days after the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. She dedicated the whole performance to him and sang “Why? By returning to the 12-bar blue style, Nina is appealing to the entire African American community to create a united front. Simone has received four career Grammy Award nominations,[90] two during her lifetime and two posthumously. One of Nina's more hopeful activism anthems, "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", was written with collaborator Weldon Irvine in the years following the playwright's passing, acquiring the title of one of Hansberry's unpublished plays. She recorded her last album for RCA, It Is Finished, during 1974. Her passion, talent and musical genius mean that her voice will never be silenced. Give the poor man a chance, Help stop these hard, hard times. [57], During that same period Simone recorded "My Baby Just Cares for Me", which would become her biggest success years later, in 1987, after it was featured in a 1986 Chanel No. [66] Throughout most of her life and recording career she was accompanied by percussionist Leopoldo Fleming and guitarist and musical director Al Schackman. [101][102][103][104], In 2015, two documentary features about Simone's life and music were released. She changed her name to "Nina Simone" to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play "the devil's music"[3] or so-called "cocktail piano". Slowly but surely it went uphill with Nina Simone, even she was able to make money from the Chanel commercial after a legal battle. As well as her 1992 autobiography I Put a Spell on You (1992), written with Stephen Cleary, Simone has been the subject of several books. The Backlash Blues was made into a song, sung by Nina Simone. Simone is regarded as one of the most influential recording artists of the 20th century. The poem is similar in some ways to an older Bessie Smith song, 'Poor Man Blues': Mister rich man, rich man, Open up your heart and mind. In 1954, she adopted the stage name "Nina Simone". The Backlash Blues Lyrics. [78] In 1985, Simone fired a gun at a record company executive, whom she accused of stealing royalties. It’s made up of impressive full-time Regulars…, Helping to prevent fires and accidents from happening in the first place is the other major part of…, By consistently living our values, we seek to eliminate those things that undermine or are harmful to anyone…, Over 300 years we’ve cultivated a reputation that inspires respect and built a business on expert insight and…, We are committed to transforming lives through education. "[70] In the opinion of AllMusic's Mark Deming, she was "one of the most gifted vocalists of her generation, and also one of the most eclectic". (2015), Simone's cover of Janis Ian's "Stars" is played during the final moments of the season 3 finale of BoJack Horseman (2016), and "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" were included in the film Acrimony (2018). Besides using Bach-style counterpoint, she called upon the particular virtuosity of the 19th-century Romantic piano repertoire—Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and others. As her manager, Stroud was in charge of Simone's income. "Nina Simone: 'Are you ready to burn buildings? [2] She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well-received audition,[3] which she attributed to racial discrimination. [68] According to Rickey Vincent, she was a pioneering musician whose career was characterized by "fits of outrage and improvisational genius". (The King Of Love Is Dead)”, a song written by her bass player, Gene Taylor, directly after the news of King’s death had reached them. Nina Simone was a great artist singer pianist songwriter and activist. As her political activism rose, the rate of release of her music slowed. Often she was too drunk to sing or play the piano properly. Simone left the US in September 1970, flying to Barbados as she was disappointed that she was not making the Hits like she used to. The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. Nina Simone is best known for her talents in the Music industry as a Singer/Songwriter covering genres from Blues and Jazz, to Gospel and Pop. However, Stroud interpreted Simone's sudden disappearance, and the fact that she had left behind her wedding ring, as an indication of her desire for a divorce. It features live footage from different periods of her career, interviews with family, various interviews with Simone then living in the Netherlands, and while on a trip to her birthplace. Simone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. [65] This fact was kept out of public view until 2004 when a biography, Break Down and Let It All Out, written by Sylvia Hampton and David Nathan, was published posthumously. For the rest of her life, she suspected that her application had been denied because of racial prejudice. Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis spoke highly of Simone, deeply impressed by her ability to play three-part counterpoint (her two hands on the piano and her voice each playing a separate but complimentary melody line). Join us and you could be a part of…, Human Resource Management 1 Day Training in Liverpool, Human Resource Management 1 Day Training in Sheffield, Virtual Black History Tour of the British Museum, The South West London Adoption Consortium, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service: One Team – Keeping Communities Safe, University of Hertfordshire School of Education, Royal Academy of Engineering Engineering Engagement Programme, Cheshire Constabulary – Join our policing family. Hansberry had been a personal friend whom Simone credited with cultivating her social and political consciousness. Taking up studies in Music at Juilliard School of Music in New York would be expensive and Nina took a job playing as a pianist at Midtown Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City.