Nina Simone, c. 1968
In the Sunday, June 21 New York Times, Salamishah Tillet writes, “Fifty years after her prominence, Nina Simone is now reaching her peak.” The three new films she has inspired, along with a tribute album and an excellent 2012 biography by Nadine Cahodas, has brought additional importance to Ms. Simone’s music and the way she lived her life, to the point where writers like Tillet opine that Simone “broadened the parameters of the great American pop artist.”
“Simone’s androgynous voice, genre-breaking musicianship and political consciousness may have concerned ’60s and ’70s marketing executives and concert promoters,” Tillet writes, “but those are a huge draw for today’s gay, lesbian, black and female artists who want to be taken seriously for their talent, their activism or a combination of both.”
Tillet’s piece is an excellent capsule of Simone’s career, her current relevance, and a critique of the three films, the documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, the biopic Nina, and the documentary The Amazing Nina Simone. Click here to read it.
Official trailer for What Happened, Miss Simone?
Trailer for The Amazing Nina Simone