Nina Simone Bio
Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights, activist. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.
Nina Simone Age
Nina was born on February 21, 1933, and died on April 21, 2003, She died at the age of 70 years old.
Nina Simone Family/Early Life
Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933, in Tryon, North Carolina. The sixth of eight children 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”. Demonstrating a talent with the instrument, she performed at her local church.
Her concert debut, a classical recital, was given when she was 12. Simone later said that during this performance, her parents, who had taken seats in the front row, were forced to move to the back of the hall to make way for white people. She said that she refused to play until her parents were moved back to the front and that the incident contributed to her later involvement in the civil rights movement.
Simone’s mother, Mary Kate Waymon (November 20, 1901 – April 30, 2001), was a Methodist minister and a housemaid. Her father, Rev. John Devan Waymon (June 24, 1898 – October 24, 1972), was a handyman who at one time owned a dry-cleaning business, but also suffered bouts of ill health.
Simone’s music teacher helped establish a special fund to pay for her education. Subsequently, a local fund was set up to assist her in continued education. With the help of this scholarship money, she was able to attend Allen High School for Girls in Asheville, North Carolina.
After her graduation, Simone spent the summer of 1950 at the Juilliard School as a student of Carl Friedberg, preparing for an audition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her application, however, was denied.
Only 3 of 72 applicants were accepted that year, but as her family had relocated to Philadelphia in the expectation of her entry to Curtis, the blow to her aspirations was particularly heavy.
For the rest of her life, she suspected that her application had been denied because of racial prejudice.
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 Curtis institute did not accept students over 21.
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.
Nina Simone Husband
In 1958, she befriended and married Don Ross, a beatnik who worked as a fairground barker but quickly regretted their marriage. Simone married a New York police detective, Andrew Stroud, in 1961. He later became her manager and the father of her daughter Lisa Simone, but he abused Simone psychologically and physically.
Nina Simone Daughter
Lisa Simone, is an American singer, composer, and actress, known for her work on and off-broadway, in Rent, Lion King, Aida, and Les Miserables. She is the only child of music icon, and civil rights activist Nina Simone.
Nina Simone Death/Cause of Death
In 1993, she settled near Aix-en-Provence in southern France. In the same year, her final album, A Single Woman, was released. During a 1998 performance in Newark, she announced, “If you’re going to come to see me again, you’ve got to come to France, because I am not coming back.”
She suffered from breast cancer for several years before she died in her sleep at her home in Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, on April 21, 2003.
Her funeral service was attended by singers Miriam Makeba and Patti LaBelle, poet Sonia Sanchez, actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, and hundreds of others. Simone’s ashes were scattered in several African countries. She is survived by her daughter, Lisa Celeste Stroud, an actress and singer, who took the stage name Simone, and who has appeared on Broadway in Aida.
Nina Simone Personality
Known for her temper and frequent outbursts, in 1985, Simone fired a gun at a record company executive, whom she accused of stealing royalties. Simone said she “tried to kill him” but “missed”. Simone was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the late 1980s. In 1995, she shot and wounded her neighbor’s son with an air gun after the boy’s laughter disturbed her concentration.
According to a biographer, Simone took medication for a condition from the mid-1960s onward, although this was supposedly only known to a small group of intimates. It was kept out of public view for many years, until 2004 when a biography, Break Down and Let It All Out written by Sylvia Hampton and David Nathan, was published posthumously.
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.
Nina Simone Songs
1. Four Women
2. Mississippi Goddman
3. To Be Young, Gifted and Black
4. Ain’t Got No, I Got Life
6. Go Limp
7. Get By
8. Old Jim Crow
9. Backlash Blues
10. The Other Woman
11. Blues for Mama
12. Real Real
13. Oh Timbaland
15. I Sing Just To Know I’m Alive
16. If You Knew
17. Nina’s Blues
18. African Mailman
19. Do I Move You?
20. Under the Lowest
21. Central Park Blues
22. Flo Me La
23. See-line Woman(Masters at Work remix)
24. When I Was in My Prime
26. Return Home
27. You Took MyTeeth
Nina Simone Albums
1. I Put a Spell on You
2. Wild Is the Wind
3. Here Comes the Sun
4. Pastel Blues
5. Nina Simone Sings the Blues
6. High Priestess of Soul
7. Nina Simone and Piano
8. Silk & Soul
10. Nina Simone in Concert
11. Nina at the Village Gate
12. Nina Simone at Town Hall
13. Black Gold
14. Fodder on My Wings
15. Nina Simone Sings Ellington
16. Nina Simone at Newport
17. Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall
18. Nina Simone and Her Friends
19. Folksy Nina
20. Nina Simone with Strings
21. Gospel According to Nina Simone
22. The Big Lebowski
23. The Big Lebowski
24. Gifted & Black
25. The Future Is Unwritten
26. Songs From Scandal: Music For Gladiators
27. A Charlie Brown Christmas
29. Mr. Clarinet
30. To Love Somebody
31. Little Girl Blue
32. The Very Best of Nina Simone
33. Nina Simone – Live
34. Remixed & Reimagined
35. Feeling Good
36. Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles
37. Verve Jazz Masters 17
38. NINA REVISITED: A Tribute to Nina Simone (Google Play Deluxe Edition)
39. Brassens, Echos Du Monde
40. The Essential Nina Simone
41. Nina Simone’s Finest Hour
42. Nina’s Choice
43. Nina Simone – Gold (U.S. Version)
44. Central Park Blues
45. The Great Nina Simone
46. Compact Jazz: Nina Simone
47. Miss Simone: The Hits
Nina Simone Youtube
Note: This biography is based on the available information as of 2023, and real-time updates or developments are being updated by our editorial team.