Nina Simone (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003)

 

When I was 13-years-old, I watched Point of No Return, in which Bridget Fonda’s character had an obsession with Nina Simone.  This was the first time I had ever heard of Ms. Simone, and thus began my obsession as well.  From the first note she sang, I was hooked.  There was something about her voice that conveyed an unbearable amount of pain, yet was shrouded in a happiness that was just as genuine.  The music had something different than anything else to which I listened at the time.  There was an immediacy to every note begin delivered, and it refused to let me ignore it- her voice got inside of my head and made me feel a shiver up my spine that I never wanted to end.

Of course, it was not until later on that I would fully appreciate the influence and passion of Ms. Simone.  Her politics and beliefs often challenged those around her, and earned her the badge of many of her songs being banned from the airwaves.  However, I always admired how nothing ever stopped her from being exactly who she was, and singing it proudly all her life.  There are many who have tried  to emulate Ms. Simone, but there is no one who can stop time the way she did with every note she sang.

 

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