Tryon’s Nina Simone to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Published 1:57 pm Thursday, December 14, 2017

TRYON-Tryon native Nina Simone, born Eunice Waymon, will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in April.

The announcement was made on Wednesday, Dec. 13 and includes artists Bon Jovi, bands Dire Straits and Moody Blues, The Cars and the late Simone.

Simone was born in Tryon in 1933 and was a singer-songwriter and civil rights activist, known as the “High Priestess of Soul.” She became famous in the 1960s with her songs including “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” and “The Times They Are A Changin’” and “I Put A Spell On You.”

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Music fans and 900 music industry experts voted on the inductees to the hall of fame.

A ceremony and performance show is planned for Cleveland, Ohio on April 14, 2018.

Simone died in France in 2003 at the age of 70.

The Town of Tryon has a statue and park dedicated to Simone downtown. Simone’s childhood home is also located in Tryon.

“She has joined a long list of people who have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” said Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples; “the best and most positive thing I can say is that she was a native of this wonderful town who was supported and nurtured by its citizens.”

Nina Simone Project Founder and Director and Tryon Commissioner Dr. Crys Armbrust said with some certain insight, Simone once famously commented that, “an artist’s duty is to reflect the times.”

“That same selfsame sentiment can be applied to such arts-affiliated organizations as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the artists they honor,” Armbrust said. “I’m delighted about Nina’s upcoming induction.  I think this honor is a particularly important one because it stresses Nina’s musical offering beyond her usual industry niche as a crossover blues/jazz figure.  Though incidentally, Nina referred to herself as a “folk singer.”

“The star of a local Tryon daughter, at present, is brilliantly ascendant across the globe. However, we should not forget this one detail.  Nina’s talent was mined in Tryon, and her musical foundation was refined in Tryon, by proud Tryonites.

“Yes, Nina Simone is but one of Tryon’s myriad claims to fame, but it is nonetheless one that every other arts-focused community in the world seems to envy.   And I am privileged and honored to play a small part in Nina’s recognition.”