• Muzik First


Stephen Marley has released "Celebrating Nina: A Reggae Tribute to Nina Simone." The seven-track EP features as many female artists revisiting songs written or previously covered by Simone, with exquisitely crafted one-drop reggae rhythms further embellishing Simone’s category-defying sonics. Stephen Marley told Billboard's Patricia Meschino: “Music from the past, artists like Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, speak to my mood, my soul. Because of the racism they faced years ago; you can hear the commitment they had towards pursuing their talent and the passion they put into their music, which remains very potent today. […] This project is about preserving Nina Simone’s legacy, passing it on to younger generations, including my children, because you don’t often find music this substantial. When we started the project, we reached out to Nina’s daughter (Lisa Simone Kelly) and to the Nina Simone Foundation to establish a connection; we want to donate a portion of the proceeds to the things that she was all about." Simone, who survived an abusive marriage, battled alcoholism and suffered for years with an undiagnosed bipolar disorder, succumbed to breast cancer on April 21, 2003; in her will, she requested her estate’s residuary gifts be held in the trust to create a charity supporting the musical education of Black children in Africa. The album has some notable names lending their voices to his cause. Some of them include covers by Queen Ifrica, Etana, and his sister Cedella Marley. Internationally, Melanie Fiona, Maya Azucena, Joss Stone, and Terri Walker are featured on the EP.