[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 25 April, 2003, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Funeral held for singer Simone
Nina Simone
Simone's ashes will be scattered across several African countries

Hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects to the legendary jazz and blues singer Nina Simone in the southern French town of Carry-le-Rouet.

The American singer died at her home in France on Monday at the age of 70.

The funeral was held at the Lady of the Assumption church, attended by friends and family including her 36-year-old daughter Lisa.

Simone's body was due to be cremated later in the day at a private service in Marseille for immediate family.

The funeral service began with a recording of Jacques Brel's Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't Leave me), which Simone often performed on stage.

A floral tribute from British singer Sir Elton was placed on the altar with a message reading "We were the greatest and I love you".

Nina Simone's funeral
Hundreds turned out for the funeral

South African singer Miriam Makeba, a close friend of Simone, was among those at the funeral.

"She was not only an artist but also a freedom fighter," she said.

Memorial services are due to be held in New York and Simone's home town of Tryon, North Carolina, for those who could not attend the funeral.

At her request her ashes will be scattered across several African countries.


Born Eunice Wayman, she was raised in a family of seven children.

She went on to study as a classical pianist at New York's prestigious Juilliard School of Music, a rare feat for a black woman in the 1950s.

Lisa Simone and Miriam Makeba
The singer's daughter Lisa and South African singer Miriam Makeba were present

Her first major hit was I Loves You Porgy from the Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess, followed by My Baby Just Cares for Me.

As well as having a successful music career, Simone was also a committed activist against segregation in America in the 1950s and 1960s.

She lived variously in Barbados, Switzerland, France, Liberia, Trinidad and Britain, before moving to the south of France eight years ago.

Her only daughter Lisa - known professionally as Simone - is currently the star of the Broadway production of Aida.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific