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Nina Simone in London, 1998

Steve Pafford,, 29 March 2021

Almost two decades since her death, Nina Simone's legacy has once again been in the headlines since the release of the 2016 biopic, Nina. The casting of Zoe Saldana in the title role sparked a sea of controversy, with light-skinned Saldana painted in makeup akin to blackface and a prosthetic nose. For Simone, a musician whose artistry was so deeply intertwined with her skin tone, it proved to be painfully problematic. While the film itself received an avalanche of rotten tomatoes, no one has ever questioned Nina Simone's influence or power. They wouldn't dare. 

Continuing Women's History Month, today I'm revisiting a concert the legendary lady gave in 1998, at an equally revered music hall that is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Royal Albert Hall in London. What a venue, what a woman.

Total word count of piece: 1940


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