Nina Simone death: How old was Nina Simone when she died?

Jimmy Cobb performs with the Tucson Jazz Festival band in 2015

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Nina Simone’s voice is instantly recognisable, with her version of Feeling Good being one of the most iconic popular jazz songs out there. Not only did she make more than 30 albums in her lifetime, but she fought for the rights of those who had none as a civil rights activist. But how old was Nina Simone when she died, and what happened?

Nina Simone was 70-years-old when she died in Aix-en-Provence in France, on April 21, 2003.

She suffered from breast cancer for years before her death and died in her sleep at home in Carry-le-Rouet, a commune in Bouches-du-Rhône.

Nina was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933, in North Carolina.

She, like many other famous singers of her era, learned to sing in church, as well as play instruments, exhibiting talent from an early age.

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After studying for a short while at Juilliard, Nina was not accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music, forcing her to take private lessons while working various jobs.

She then started singing to help pay for her tuition, travelling to bars in Atlantic City, for which she changed her name to Nina Simone.

Soon she recorded a song which entered into the Billboard Top 100, her version of I Loves You, Porgy from Porgy and Bess.

It was followed by her first album, Little Girl Blue, released in February 1959 on Bethlehem Records, but she lost royalties and barely gained financially from the album due to selling her rights.

After this, she signed with Colpix Records and began to gain popularity among jazz and soul fans, though she was doing this work, in her view, just to pay for classical tuition.

By the mid-1960s she had changed record companies, and her music had changed with it, and her messages began to become even more steeped in the civil rights movement.

Much of her music was boycotted and even sent back to her record company by those who disagreed with her message of equality, and she began speaking at civil rights rallies.

She moved record label again to RCA Victor, but by the 1970s Nina’s output was far less due to the boycotting of her music, and the difficulties she felt had occurred in her career.

Nina moved away from the USA for some time, travelling to different places such as Liberia and Barbados.

She quietly began to release music while abroad, but her mental health issues were dampening her chances at a comeback, and soon she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Eventually, things looked up after many years of turmoil, and eventually, she settled in The Netherlands, and then France.

While here she released her final album, 1993’s A Single Woman, which featured a French-language alongside pop covers from the likes of Prince and The Beatles.

Nina married twice in her life, first to Don Ross, a friend of hers, after which she married Andrew Stroud, a police detective and later her manager.

She had one daughter in her life, Lisa, who was born to her and Andrew.

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