Not only was Nina Simone one of the most influential jazz singers ever, she also managed to push the boundaries of jazz farther than just about any singer who came before her, influencing legions of folk, jazz, rock, and soul artists along the way. She started out in the late 50s as a relatively straight-ahead jazz singer, but before long she began incorporating folk, blues, and more into her sound. By the 60s, Simone began really pushing the envelope, pursuing a much wider variety of styles, venturing into politically charged material, and emerging as a fine songwriter in her own right. In the 70s, Simone's releases starting getting fewer and farther between. By the 90s, she had settled in Europe and she was living in France when she lost her life to cancer in 1993.
Followers: Jeff Buckley, Erykah Badu, Terry Callier, Roberta Flack, Cassandra Wilson
Influenced By: Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald...