There’s been a huge resurgence as of late in interest in the music and life of the great Nina Simone, who died in 2003 at the age of 70. You hear her music on all sorts of movie and television soundtracks and commercials. There has been a couple of documentaries made of her life ( this includes the highly acclaimed What Happened, Miss Simone? on Netflix) and there are a number of big screen biopics in the works.
The most current and yet to be released project is titled Nina and features Zoe Saldana as Simone. There’s been a lot of controversy over this film as Saldana altered her looks by wearing a prosthetic nose and darkening her skin with makeup. Plus the Simone estate disavows this film and disputes much of the story as it is to be presented in the film.
Even in death, Nina Simone can stir up a hornet’s nest.
She was a unique talent– classically trained as a pianist, supremely gifted as a performer/vocalist and militantly proud of her black heritage during the height of the civil rights era. But she had many other demons and her life was never simple or easy, filled with super highs, crushing lows and many conflicts along the way. It’s no wonder that we find her story perfect fodder for the movies.
Myself, I just love her ability to take a song from another artist and just transform it into something that feels altogether new, feeling like it is her’s alone. She was just a rare talent.
So, for this Sunday Morning Music let’s listen to her take on the Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody. Enjoy and have a great Sunday…