EXCLUSIVE: A week after receiving his first Oscar nomination for Selma song “Glory,” the multiple Grammy winner will be taking the stage in Park City in tribute to another icon of the civil rights era. John Legend is set to perform a set of Nina Simone’s songs right after the world premiere of the Netflix’s documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, I’ve learned. The film premieres on opening night of this year’s Sundance Film Festival at the Eccles Theatre at 5:45 PM.
“In the sixties, when Nina Simone had her political education, music was inextricably intertwined with the movement for civil rights,” today said What Happened’s director Liz Garbus “Today, John Legend is one of the few artists carrying that torch — his passionate commitment to social justice, education and human rights is rare and inspirational. I’m thrilled that Legend will be here to represent Nina’s spirit and help carry the message and beauty of her music to a new generation.”
Along with rapper Common, Legend snagged an Academy Award nomination on January 15 for the Best Original Song for the tune from the Ava DuVernay directed Best Picture nominee about Dr. Martin Luther King. The next day, after what many thought were a Best Director and Best Actor snub, Selma was screened at the White House for President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the members of the cast and crew of the pic, including Oprah Winfrey and Legend. Garbus was nominated for an Academy Award herself back in the late 1990s for the docu The Farm: Angola, USA. What Happened, Miss Simone? is Neflix’s first commission original documentary. The film is scheduled to make its online debut later this year.