Twelve incredible facts you may not know about Nina Simone

12 incredible facts you may not know about Nina Simone

East Coast Gold celebrates what would’ve been Nina Simone’s 89th birthday with a special tribute featuring some of her classic songs and interesting facts. 

Nina Simone
Nina Simone

Nina Simone began her singing career in the 1950s.

She was a civil rights activist who became famous with her 1959 Top 10 classic, ‘I Loves You Porgy’. 

Simone sold over one million albums in the last decade of her life, making her a global catalog best-seller, states

Her music saw her travel and perform all over the world. 

Simone died on 21 April 2003 at the age of 70. 

READ: 7 things you may not know about Nina Simone

Let us look at interesting facts about the star:

  1. Nina Simone’s real name is Eunice Kathleen Waymon, and she was born in Tryon, North Carolina on 21 February 1933.

  2. Her mother and father were ministers and Simone described her mother as someone who was prayerful.

  3. She learned how to play the piano at her mother’s church. She also started singing at her mother’s church.

  4. The first song she played on the piano was ‘God Be with You Until We Meet Again’.

  5. The star was described as someone who was a firm believer in religion, however, she did not subscribe to one religion, but said she believed in all religions.

  6. She was affiliated with Martin Luther King Jr, whom she marched with and even composed a song for.

  7. Her first love was a man called Bob. She revealed this in an interview on BBC Hardtalk in 1999.

  8. She used music as a weapon to defend the rights of Black Americans.

  9. The songbird was married twice in her life. She was married to Andy Stroud (m. 1961–1971) and Donald Ross (m. 1958–1960).

  10. Simone met with Nelson Mandela in 1998. She called Nelson Mandela a "saint" and "The greatest person on the planet".

  11. Simone blamed her music for her two failed marriages. She told Hardtalk that the music got in the way.

  12. Simone was diagnosed with manic depression (bipolar disorder). The medication she took to treat the manic depression affected her motor skills and left her with slurred speech and reduced ability on the piano.

READ: Feeling good! New Nina Simone album released

** East Coast Gold has a half hour special from 8:30pm on Monday 21 February – on what would’ve been Nina Simone’s 89th birthday.

Get your Monday Evening Jazz fix with the irreplaceable Queen of Soul, Nina Simone, and East Coast Gold. From 'My Baby Just Cares for Me' to 'I Loves you, Porgy' and 'Feeling Good' – don’t miss this mellow special featuring the late Grammy Award winner – one of the most gifted vocalists of her generation. **

For loads of fantastic 60s, 70s, and 80s classics, listen to East Coast Gold via the ECR app or here. We’re also on platforms like Alexa (just enable the ‘East Coast Gold’ skill) MyTuner, Radio Garden;, Radioline and OpenRadio.

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