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Nina Simone. She was poignant, she was political, she was a brazen pianist, a gifted singer, and devoted mother. Her career spanned four decades, and her voice seamlessly translated into several genres: R & B, Blues, Gospel, and Jazz. She was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement unapologetically making music that deeply resonated and provided a soundtrack for the movement.

Songs like “Mississippi Goddamn” that chastised the ridiculous Jim Crow laws of the time and “The King of Love” paying homage to the slain Martin Luther King Jr., and my personal favorite “Four Women” that perfectly encapsulated the life experiences of four Black women based on the gradations of their skin, and the texture of their hair. She could just as easily sing about the political climate of the times as she could about matters of love and sex, with such songs like “Sugar in My Bowl” and then belt out a funky anthem like “Funkier Than a Mosquitoes’ Tweeter” and then just as easily pay homage to her Creator with a beautiful song like “Feeling Good.”

Miss Nina Simone is a true legend, a regal and eclectic woman, a genius who left us to soon…but her legacy will live on in perpetuity. Happy 79th birthday Nina. We love you! We salute you…Rest in Power!

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