Extended Audio Sample

Download What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography Audiobook, by Alan Light Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Light Narrator: Adenrele Ojo Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9780399566325
Regular Price: $22.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $16.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Inspired by the Academy Award-nominated Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, an intimate and vivid look at the legendary life of Nina Simone, the classically trained pianist who evolved into a chart-topping chanteuse and committed civil rights activist. 
From music journalist and former Spin and Vibe editor-in-chief Alan Light comes a biography of incandescent soul singer and Black Power icon Nina Simone, one of the most influential, provocative, and least understood artists of our time. Drawn from a trove of rare archival footage, audio recordings and interviews (including Simone's remarkable private diaries), this nuanced examination of Nina Simone’s life highlights her musical inventiveness and unwavering quest for equality, while laying bare the personal demons that plagued her from the time of her Jim Crow childhood in North Carolina to her self-imposed exile in Liberia and Paris later in life.
Harnessing the singular voice of Miss Simone herself and incorporating candid reflections from those who knew her best, including her only daughter, Light brings us face to face with a legend, examining the very public persona and very private struggles of one of our greatest artists.

From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A spellbinding portrait…Alan Light resurrects the High Priestess of Soul with profound sympathy and masterful storytelling.”

    Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Simone was a genius. Her triumphs and troubles share the stage in Light’s pitch-perfect biography.”


  • “[Nina Simone’s] willingness to speak her mind shines out of every page of Alan Light’s biography.”

    Times (London)

  • [An] engaging biography…As Light shows, her intensity fueled music that reflected and transformed the volatile America of her times.”

    Rolling Stone

  • “A probing account of Simone’s inner struggles…Far from detracting from her civil-rights heroism, it makes that achievement all the more astonishing.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “Alan Light has written an electrifying, humane, and dimensional biography…I learned so much about a woman I admire, the woman whose fiery piano and voice is a powerful reminder of what artists are meant to do! What Happened, Miss Simone? captures how unique and real she was on every page.”

    Alicia Keys, multiaward–winning singer, songwriter, producer and actress

  • “Adenrele Ojo narrates the biography of jazz singer Nina Simone…When the biography includes song lyrics or a letter, Ojo makes Simone’s own voice sound stern, fierce, or sultry. Overall, however, Ojo maintains a distance that allows listeners to observe Simone and empathize as the ups and downs of her life unfold.”


Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Alan Light is the former editor in chief of Vibe and Spin magazines, and a former senior writer for Rolling Stone. He is the author of Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, Alan cohosts the daily music talk show Debatable on SiriusXM.
About the Narrator

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration. She made her onscreen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. As the daughter of John E. Allen, Jr., founder and artistic director of Freedom Theatre, the oldest African American theater in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to the stage. In 2010 she performed in the Fountain Theatre’s production of The Ballad of Emmett Till, which won the 2010 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble. Other plays include August Wilson’s Jitney and Freedom Theatre’s own Black Nativity, where she played Mary.