Nina Simone’s Career, Activism, & Fiery Spirit Examined In New Documentary (Video)

Although Nina Simone only had one single enter the Top 40 (1959’s “I Loves You, Porgy”), the iconic singer, songwriter, and political figure has demonstrated impact on music and culture that transcends the charts. The Tryon, North Carolina native, who died in 2003, is the subject of a new documentary film.

Fresh off of the most recent Sundance Film Festival, What Happened, Miss Simone? is now headed to Netflix, premiering June 26. The trailer was released earlier this week (April 29), an electrifying visual that exhibits Simone’s prowess as a performer and person. The two-minute clip features the Civil Rights activist’s daughter Lisa Simone-Kelly, where she opines, “My mother was one of the greatest entertainers of all time.”

The preview video aims to highlight the essence of Miss Simone, but it also shows a very rash and different side of the singer than many fans may get. Although her writing and unique voice afforded her a 50-year music career, this is where her daughter Lisa states that “things fell apart” for the “Sinnerman” maker. “She was Nina Simone 24/7,” her daughter explains to Oscar-nominated (The Farm: Angola, USA) director Liz Garbus. The film appears to capture all of Simone’s intracacies, including rare footage of her chiding her musical mates. However, What Happened, Miss Simone? aims to examine Nina’s life and legacy as a deeply important, oft-overlooked figure of history. Check the trailer out.

Related: Fashawn, Common and John Legend ride a track that samples both Nina Simone and Terence Trent D’Arby on Strange Fruit. Ill combo.