What did Nina Simone die of?

Jazz singer Nina Simone has died

The legendary American jazz singer Nina Simone is dead. She died on Monday after a long illness at the age of 70 in southern France, as her manager Clifton Henderson announced. Simone became known with her interpretation of "I Loves You, Porgy" (1959) from the opera "Porgy and Bess", and her song "My Baby Just Cares for Me" (1966) once again conquered the advertising song in the 80s Charts.

The real name of the artist, who was born in North Carolina in 1933, was Eunice Waymon. She grew up as one of eight children in a poor family. She began to play the piano at the age of four and was trained as a pianist, including at the Juilliard School in New York. But her dream of studying at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia came to nothing: She was rejected - one of many disappointments in her life for which she later blamed the discrimination against blacks.

In order to earn money, the young woman began performing as a jazz singer in nightclubs in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. She recorded her first songs in the late 1950s, including "Plain Gold Ring" and "Don't Smoke In Bed". Later Simone dealt with the politically turbulent 1960s in her songs and became involved in the civil rights movement. After the bomb attack on a church in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four black girls were killed, and the murder of Medgar Evers, she wrote "Mississippi, Goddam" in 1963. She dealt with the murder of the black civil rights activist Martin Luther King in the song “Why? The King of Love is Dead ". One of their best known songs is the black anthem "To be Young, Gifted and Black".

"Nina took the fight for civil rights to another level," said her friend and concert promoter George Wein. “She made him part of her personality.” Wein described the musician as bitter and unhappy. You have never been able to understand the situation of blacks in the USA.

In 1973 Simone, sometimes referred to as the “High Priestess of Soul”, turned her back on the USA - a decision she later based on the racism that was widespread in her homeland. She first lived in the Caribbean and Africa before moving to Europe and eventually settling in southern France. It was not until 1985 that she returned to the USA for a series of concerts.

Her manager Henderson, who was awake on her deathbed, said Simone died peacefully in her sleep. She will be remembered as a leading figure in the civil rights movement. "She inspired other singers to do what they believed in."