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Simone: Like Mother, Like Daughter


Having an icon such as Nina Simone as a mother, a music career should almost be a no-brainer. Then again, some musicians try to dissuade their children from the music business in hopes of protecting them from financial risks, the hard knocks of life on the road, going from venue to venue. Although her parents, Simone and father Andrew Stroud, didn’t really encourage Lisa Celeste Stroud, who now goes under the stage name Simone, to embark upon a career in music, the 45-year-old singer and actress says she hardly considered it. “Music and singing were so natural to me growing up; it was like reading for me. So having a music career wasn’t anything that I gave conscious thought to,” claims Simone.

That, in part, explains the rather late arrival of Simone’s luxurious self-released debut, Simone on Simone, on which she interprets 14 songs written by and/or associated with the “High Priestess of Soul.” If you’re not familiar with Simone, don’t chalk up the album as a fickle pet project on which she rides the coattail of her mother’s legacy. Although Simone sounds nothing like her mother, she has formidable vocal chops, much of which were honed from years of performance in Broadway shows such as Jonathan Larson’s Rent, Tim Rice and Elton John’s Aida and, most recently, Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Les Misérables.

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