This weekend, Nina Simone was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame during an induction ceremony in which a number of influential artists paid tribute to the songstress and her contributions to music. Among those who took to the stage in honor of Ms. Simone were Andra Day and The Roots, who performed a medley in which Day sang “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,” and the popular cover of “I Put A Spell On You” that Simone adapted from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
Soon after, Ms. Lauryn Hill came along to deliver on a medley of her own, offering up renditions of tracks like “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair,” and the quintessential “Feeling Good.”
It was Mary J. Blige who officially inducted Nina Simone into the Hall Of Fame, paying homage through a heartfelt speech.
“Nina was bold, strong, feisty and fearless, and so vulnerable and transparent all at the same time,” Blige noted at one point. “Her voice was so distinctive and warm and powerful; I never heard anything like it. She knew who she was and she was confident in what she did and why she did it. But it was often the lack of confidence in herself that people could relate to. Nina sang for all her pain, her joy, her confusion, her happiness, her sickness, her fight. She fought through all the stereotypes. She fought for her identity. She fought for her life.”