Nina Simone (b. Eunice Kathleen Waymon, Feb. 21, 1933, Tryon, NC–d. April 21, 2003, Carry-le-Rouet, France) began playing piano at the age three. In 1950 she studied at the Julliard School as a student of Carl Friedberg and later took piano lessons with Vladimir Sokoloff. Before becoming known as a singer, she worked as accompanist at Arlene Smith's vocal studio and taught piano lessons in Philadelphia. She began performing as Nina Simone at the Midtown Bar and Grill in Atlantic City. Her 1958 album, Little Girl Blue, was her only Billboard Top 20 hit.
Simone was very involved in Civil Rights in the 1960s and supported black nationalism and advocated violent revolution. Later, there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest for an anti-Vietnam War protest so left the United States and lived in Barbados, Liberia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and France. She was married to Andrew Stroud and her daughter, Lisa Simone Waymon Stroud, is an actress.