Nearly 15-years after her passing, iconic Jazz/Blues singer, Nina Simone, will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Simone, who is known for songs such as “Young, Gifted, and Black,” and “Sinner Man,” is a first-time nominee and will be inducted into the hall of fame alongside popular acts, Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Her induction can be considered an affirmative step by the hall as Simone was known not only for her music but also, her political stance.
A native of North Carolina, Simone became a leading figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. As a harsh opponent of oppression, she frequently addressed racial tension in her music. Something that began in 1964 with the record, “Mississippi Goddam.” In this song, which she said felt like “throwing 10 bullets back at the klansmen,” Simone addressed the murder of Medgar Evers and the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, leading to a long career of artistic activism.
This societal stance and lengthy tenure can be credited to a pure love for music which has been a muse for many artists of various genres. In an interview with Uproxx, Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard, detailed how the drive of Nina Simone impacted her work as a musician.
“Ms. Simone always considered herself a student of music,” Howard said of Simone’s passion. “Before her death, she was still studying piano. I believe that this (is what) drive is.”
With her desire to create paired with an impactful character, described by Howard as “an immovable force on and off the stage,” Simone’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame proves that societal progression and artistic excellence has no genre.