Nina Simone | Musician | 1933-2003
Born Eunice Waymon in Troy North Carolina, Simone was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music crossed all genres from classical, jazz, blues and folk to R&B, gospel, and pop. She learned to play the piano as a toddler and played in church where her father was a preacher. She would cross tracks to the white side of town to study classical piano with a German teacher and was later accepted into The Juilliard School. She went on to record more than 40 albums and in 2003 just days before her death, the Curtis Institute awarded her an honorary degree.