Every day is better with a little Nina Simone.
Simone affected an imperturbable demeanor onstage, but she had an eventful life. She gave her first classical piano recital at age ten and later trained at Julliard, but started playing jazz and blues to earn a living at a time when black women pianists were not highly sought-after in the world of classical music. In the 1960′s she became active in the civil rights movement, marching with Martin Luther King and recording protest songs such as Mississippi Goddam. Her struggles with bipolar disorder were kept secret until after her death in 2003. Her music brought together influences from jazz, classical, and soul. And she could rock out when the occasion required.