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K., and Simone would focus her energies on her European career when she left the United States in 1970, initially settling in Barbados and divorcing her husband and manager.Simone's exile was prompted by her increasing disillusionment with American politics, as well as her refusal to pay income taxes as a protest against the U. involvement in Vietnam, though recording sessions and concert dates would occasionally bring her back to the United States.The single rose to the Top 20 of the pop charts, but like many of Nathan's signings, Simone did not see eye to eye with him about business details (particularly after she discovered she'd signed away her right to royalties upon receiving her advance), and by 1959 she had signed a new deal with Colpix Records.Simone's reputation as a powerful live performer had only grown by this time, and her second album for Colpix was the first of many live recordings she would release, Nina Simone at Town Hall.The newly christened Nina Simone was a quick study as a singer, and her unique mixture of jazz, blues, and the classics soon earned her a loyal audience.Within a few years, Simone was a headliner at nightclubs all along the East Coast, and in 1957 she came to the attention of Syd Nathan, the mercurial owner of the influential blues and country label King Records.Simone also enjoyed a British hit single in 1964 with "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," and while the record didn't fare as well in the United States, a year later the Animals would take the song to the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic.Simone would next hit the British charts with her cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You," which also rose to the Top 30 in the States.


" But as the fight for racial equality became a more pressing issue in America, Simone began addressing issues of social justice in her music, penning songs such as "Mississippi Goddam," "Four Women," and "Young, Gifted and Black," the latter inspired by the work of her friend and mentor Lorraine Hansberry.Simone was a singer, pianist, and songwriter who bent genres to her will rather than allowing herself to be confined by their boundaries; her work swung back and forth between jazz, blues, soul, classical, R&B, pop, gospel, and world music, with passion, emotional honesty, and a strong grasp of technique as the constants of her musical career.


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