Hip-hop legend Lauryn Hill, Andra Day, and the queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige paid tribute to the iconic Nina Simone as her music and legacy was celebrated with the induction of her name into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Nina Simone has been eligible to join the Rock Hall since 1986 but first nominated this year. R&B legend Mary J. Blige inducted Miss Simone into the Hall of Fame.
Lauryn Hill and Andra Day performed a medley of Simone’s classics including “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” “I Put a Spell on You,” “Feeling Good” at the induction ceremony in Cleveland.
Andra Day kicked it off an uplifting rendition of the hopeful Civil Rights Movement anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,”. Followed by “I Put a Spell on You,” back by The Roots.
Hill handled the second half of the performance, tackling the devastating ballad “Ne Me Quitte Pas” before putting a contemporary spin on the old folk song “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” with some nimble rapping. Hill finished with an electrifying rendition of “Feeling Good,” ending the Simone tribute on a hopeful note: “It’s a new dawn/ It’s a new day/ It’s a new life for me.”
Simone died in 2003 at her home in France after a battle with breast cancer.