Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Born on February 21, 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina, she began giving piano recitals at a young age after playing at her local church. Her talent impressed her mother's employer and a local fund set up by her music teacher, who funded her childhood piano lessons.
At the age of 17, Nina moved to Philadelphia where she taught piano and played to raise money for her studies at New York's renowned Juilliard School Of Music. To support her family financially, she worked in a bar in Atlantic City where she gained a devoted following through singing.
Nina's career took off when she recorded Gershwin's "I Loves You Porgy," which became a US Top 40 hit. This success led to performances at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival. Throughout her career, Nina embraced numerous Civil Rights anthems and was a passionate supporter of the movement.
In the 1970s, Nina left the US and lived in various places including Barbados, Africa, the Netherlands before settling in France where she passed away from cancer in 2003. Known for drawing heavily on gospel blues soul jazz R&B folk music forms within her voice; it found wider popularity late in life when "My Baby Just Cares For Me" became an unlikely UK chart hit featured in a TV ad campaign.