To accompany the release of Netflix’s upcoming Nina Simone documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?, a number of musicians have recorded covers of some of the jazz, blues and gospel icon’s most memorable songs. The compilation Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone, which is due out on July 10th, features songs by Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Common, Alice Smith and Simone’s daughter Lisa, among others.
The first to come out as a single is Hill’s sultry rendition of Simone’s 1965 bluesy vocal showstopper “Feeling Good,” which Rolling Stone is streaming exclusively. Hill originally agreed to record two songs for the record, but she became so swept up in the experience that she ended up recording six. She also went on to serve as a producer on the comp alongside Robert Glasper.
Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone Track List:
1. Lisa Simone – “Nobody’s Fault but Mine (Intro)”
2. Ms. Lauryn Hill – “Feeling Good”
3. Ms. Lauryn Hill – “I’ve Got Life” – Ms. Lauryn Hill
4. Ms. Lauryn Hill – “Ne Me Quitte Pas” – Ms. Lauryn Hill
5. Jazmine Sullivan “Baltimore”
6. Grace – “Love Me or Leave Me”
7. Usher – “My Baby Just Cares For Me”
8. Mary J. Blige – “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”
9. Gregory Porter – “Sinnerman”
10. Common & Lalah Hathaway – “YG&B”
11. Alice Smith – “I Put A Spell On You”
12. Lisa Simone – “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl”
13. Ms. Lauryn Hill – “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair”
14. Ms. Lauryn Hill – “Wild Is The Wind”
15. Ms. Lauryn Hill – “African Mailman”
16. Nina Simone – “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
Netflix, along with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, paid due homage to the legendary High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone, at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre last night (June 1), screening the evocative documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? followed by a special performance from Ms. Lauryn Hill and Jazmine Sullivan.
Directed by Liz Garbus, the tragic film, releasing to the streaming service on June 26, traced the iconic musician’s life from her early days as a classical pianist and breakthrough success as a blues musician to her transition into a civil rights activist whose burning passion for justice through equality inevitably unraveled her career.
The screening was capped off by a miniature tribute concert performed by Ms. Lauryn Hill, a contemporary artist whose complexities and controversies rival Simone’s. … Hill was introduced by Jayson Jackson, one of the film’s producers, who warned the audience of her diminished voice. In the process, he revealed that she’d lost it while rushing to complete recordings for an as-yet-announced Nina Simone covers album that will also feature Usher, Robert Glasper, Mary J. Blige and Jazmine Sullivan.
Hill kicked off her brief set with a cover of “Ne me quitte pas” (which Simone covered on her 1965 album I Put A Spell On You). The hoarse Hill sang in throaty French, commanding not only the crowd, but also the 16-piece backing band with which she shared the stage. A synth-driven version of “Black Is The Color (Of My True Love’s Hair)” came next. Hill crooned and danced through the extended, jammy rendition of the song, then launched into a rap-infused version of “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life.”
Read more at Billboard and NPR.
Ms. Lauryn Hill will be presented with the prestigious Golden Note Award at ASCAP’s 28th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. The invitation-only event will take place on June 25 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.
Hill will also perform during the evening. … ASCAP president Paul Williams cited the eight-time Grammy Award winner’s “ability to push boundaries and capture the humanity that surrounds us,” adding, “Ms. Hill’s talent as a songwriter is undeniable and reflects her singular take on the world we live in.”
Read more at Billboard.
Ms. Lauryn Hill will play the Main Stage at the second annual “Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World” Festival on Saturday, June 20 at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York. Admission is free to the public, but fans will need to register online to receive tickets to access the Main Stage area. Tickets are limited.
The festival also offers VIP packages to buy a limited edition festival T-shirt, gift bag, access to a premium viewing area and more. All contributions are tax-deductible and include 1 ticket to the Festival.
Other performers will include Shannon Powell’s Traditional All-Star Band, Antibalas, Ozomatli and the Rebirth Brass Band.
When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge. I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region. May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.
Ms. Lauryn Hill
To be even more clear, so there’s no confusion, I had no part in my performance in Nigeria being canceled. The only reason I did not go to Lagos was because the promoter was not able to purchase our flights, as was part of the deal. We were very patient, waiting at the airport for hours, giving him every opportunity to rectify. Unfortunately, he ran out of time. I felt the need to clarify, as the promoter released a statement that was ambiguous, and open to misinterpretation. I want to make sure that all of my fans in Nigeria know that I did my part and upheld my end of the agreement.
Ms. Lauryn Hill
We are disappointed to report that we will not be performing at tonight’s concert. From our end, we did everything we were supposed to do, including waiting at the airport for many hours, ready to fly out and share the evening with you. Unfortunately, after much effort, the promoter was not able to get all of our travel arrangements taken care of. This prevented us from being able to fly into Nigeria in time to make the concert. We were all very excited to come, and very disappointed that we couldn’t make this one. HOWEVER, we are working to reschedule our appearance ASAP. From what we’ve been told, the promoter intends to honor all tickets sold. Our best to and for Lagos. Love and Blessings!
Ms. Lauryn Hill and the MLH band and Production Team.
Lauryn Hill’s 1998 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, is among 25 recordings selected this year to be inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian of Congress each year selects 25 recordings that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and at least 10 years old.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (album) — Lauryn Hill (1998)
Hill’s debut solo record, following the breakup of The Fugees, is a work of honesty in which Hill explores her feelings on topics that included the deep wonder of pregnancy, the pitfalls of modern relationships and the experience of the sacred. The album effortlessly fuses soul, R&B, rap and reggae. Hill’s vocal range, smooth clear highs and vibrato are stunning. The rapping is rhythmically compelling while always retaining, and frequently exploiting, the natural cadences of conversational speech. Standout guest performances include Carlos Santana’s soulful acoustic guitar solo on “Zion” and duets with Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo on “I Used to Love Him” and “Nothing Even Matters,” respectively.
Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.