Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist and activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Her musical styles varied from classical, jazz, blues, folk, gospel to R&B and pop. Between 1958 – 1974 Simone recorded more than 40 albums.
In 1964 Simone changed record distributors and left Colpix to sign with Philips. This change saw her openly address the racial inequality that was prevalent in the United States with her song “Mississippi Goddam”. The song was released as a single and was boycotted throughout certain southern states. It was a key moment in her political radicalisation.
From then on, a civil rights message was standard in her recording repertoire and became a part of her live performances. Simone performed and spoke at many civil rights meetings and when reflecting on this period in her autobiography, she wrote “I felt more alive then than I feel now because I was needed, and I could sing something to help my people….”