Nina Simone (born 21 February 1933)
Today would have been the late Nina Simone's eighty-second birthday. Singer, songwriter, composer, performer, and civil-rights activist, Simone and her distinctive voice are unforgettable. So take some time today for listening to her music. If you don't have the vinyl or the CDs (okay, I'm old) or the mp3s, then check out a few of her memorable performances on YouTube, including this version of "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black," accompanied by a wonderful gallery of images, and this live performance of "Mississippi Goddam" from 1965.
The official Nina Simone website is here, where you can find a biography and complete discography. For a sampling of her music, I like this anthology, The Tomato Collection.