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Nina Simone

Source: Dave Benett / Getty

Eunice Waymon, born in Tryon, North Carolina, initially pursued a career as a concert pianist but evolved into a multifaceted figure known as Nina Simone. Beyond her musical prowess, Simone distinguished herself as a civil rights activist, prolific songwriter, performer, and musician, breaking through numerous barriers with her music and influence.

Attending Juilliard in New York City, Simone began performing in Atlantic City under the stage name Nina Simone, concealing her identity from her family, who associated secular music with moral concerns. Her musical arrangements deftly blended elements of pop with classical, resulting in a unique and captivating sound. Over the course of her career, Simone recorded more than 40 albums, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry and cultural landscape.