A youthful Nina Simone performs "Ain't Got No, I've Got Life".
As a preacher's daughter born in Tryon, North Carolina on February 21, 1933 Nina Simone first started playing the piano at her father's church when she was six.
Aspiring to become a concert pianist after being denied a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia she moved to New York where she studied at the Juilliard School.
Nina began singing in a small Atlantic City club accompanying herself on piano during the early 1950s to fund her further musical education.
She would develop her own unique style best described as a fusion of gospel, pop, and classical music.
Following the 1958 success of her Billie Holiday inspired single "I Loves You, Porgy" Nina soon released her debut album "Little Girl Blue" on Bethlehem Records.
In 1964 she openly addressed racial inequality in the United States with the song "Mississippi Goddam", her response to the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama church followed later with "Old Jim Crow" depicting segregation laws in the South.
Mainly a solo performer once denounced by the establishment she spoke out against racial prejudice, released over forty albums, and achieved a high level of success.
After years of traveling abroad Nina Simone settled in Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône in Southern France where she died in her sleep on April 21, 2003 following a long battle with breast cancer.
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