Stars Name Their Fave Nina Simone Songs

In Nina Simone’s hands, songs became events. Whether she was stealing away standards that had been around for decades, or wielding her pen against the pain of racism and intolerance of postwar America, Simone brought new depth to the music she touched. Her well-honed classical and jazz chops helped, of course, but her greatest asset was her passion. She believed fervently in her own pulpit power and made it undeniable to her listeners. As Robert Glasper said recently, “She was like news to the jazz world.” As part of Pitchfork’s feature Nina Simone: Her Art and Life in 33 Songs, the site talked to several of her biggest fans — including Maxwell and Cat Power — on their favorite songs that define the legend—and, in some cases, have helped them redefine themselves.

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