Nina Simone’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Is a Bittersweet Victory
Style Magazine Newswire | 12/15/2017, 9:27 a.m.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that Nina Simone would be among 2018’s group of inductees—which includes rock bands Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues and the Cars. This year’s induction will also include a fellow black female trailblazer and revolutionary: guitarist and singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe—often known as the “godmother of rock and roll”—who arguably invented the medium and yet has also been embarrassingly absent from the annual honors. This honor for Nina Simone, who enjoyed international fame throughout her nearly half-century career before she died in 2003, is decades overdue. The singer, songwriter and virtuoso pianist has been eligible since 1986; during her lifetime, her tremendous talent was often overlooked and rejected due to her race, skin color, gender, activism and the beauty standards of the era. And as the 2015 Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? revealed, Simone also struggled with mental health issues, quite possibly as a result of the disrespect she endured in both her personal and professional lives.