Nina Simone, who would’ve turned 80 on February 21, was a strong and vocal civil rights advocate who carried the message of universal rights and personal empowerment, freedom, equality and dignity throughout her career. Whether it was political or emotional or personal, she never failed to tell the truth through her music.
One of the most powerful and uncompromising artists of the 20th century, Nina Simone was a natural talent who developed into a virtuosic performer–an ineffable song stylist with concert hall piano skills and a transcendental on-stage presence. Singer, songwriter, arranger, and pianist, Nina wove classical, blues, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, folk, gospel, torch songs and world music into a body of work as eclectic as it is incomparable.
In 2008, Legacy Recordings released To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story, a deluxe four-disc (three CDs + DVD) box set that stands as the most comprehensive and wide-ranging collection of Nina Simone’s music ever compiled, and now you have a chance to win the collection yourself! Containing 51 audio tracks – eight of them previously unreleased – the collection covered her recording years from 1957 to 1993 for the Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA (for whom she cut nine LPs that are considered the pinnacle of her output), CTI, and Elektra record labels, plus another nine performances on the 23-minute documentary DVD.