Simone (actress)

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Lisa Simone (2) 2009.jpg
Lisa Simone at Stockholm Jazz Festival 2009
Background information
Birth nameLisa Simone Waymon Stroud
Also known asSimone
Born (1962-09-12) September 12, 1962 (age 56)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active1980–present
Associated acts

Lisa Simone Waymon Stroud (born September 12, 1962), known by her stage name, Simone, is an American singer and actress, known for her work in the Broadway theatre field. She is the daughter of the late American vocalist and civil rights activist Nina Simone.


Before her acting career, Simone served in the United States Air Force as an engineering assistant. Afterwards, she sang background for various European artists and was part of the Spanish artist Raphael's touring chorus.

Simone's stage debut was in a national tour of the Andrew Lloyd Webber rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, as Soul Sister and understudy for Mary. In 1996, she continued her career as a swing and female understudy in the original Broadway production of Rent. Later that year, Simone performed the lead role of Mimi Marquez in its first national tour, from November 1996 to April 1998.

Starting in 1998 Simone took a hiatus from acting during which she toured and recorded two albums with the acid jazz band Liquid Soul. Along with the rest of the band, she was nominated for a Grammy Award for their 2000 album Here's the Deal. Simone then returned to the Broadway stage in the title role of the Disney musical Aida. She performed the role from January 29, 2002, until June 15, 2003. She reprised this role for a short time at The Muny Theater in St. Louis in the summer of 2006. In the summer of 2007, she played Fantine in Les Misérables at The Muny.

Simone has released four solo albums: Simone Superstar, Simone on Simone, All Is Well, Lisa Simone with Tromsø Big Band. Live at the Edge and My World.

She tours frequently, singing jazz standards and her own material, most recently on tour in Europe with her 2014 album All Is Well.

In 2014 Simone (now under the stage name Lisa Simone) performed with Tromsø Big Band at The Northern Lights Music Festival in Tromsø, Norway. She came back to the same festival in 2015 and recorded a live album with Tromsø Big Band; Lisa Simone with Tromsø Big Band. Live At The Edge.[1] In 2016, considered as "a remarkable jazz singer"[2], she released her last album; My World.

Lisa Simone at Stockholm Jazz Festival 2009

Personal life[edit]

Simone is the daughter of Nina Simone and Andrew Stroud. Her father, who managed her mother, was abusive.[3] Her mother struggled with bipolar disorder and depression. As a child she was left with family friends and abandoned by her mother for years.[4] When they reunited in West Africa, her mother became abusive.[5] "She went from being my comfort to the monster in my life. Now she was the person doing the beating, and she was beating me." The abuse became so unbearable that Simone became suicidal and at 14 years old she moved back to New York to stay with her father.[4]

She is married to Robert Kelly, with whom she has a daughter named ReAnna Simone Kelly. Both Simone and her daughter have appeared on Psychic Kids (Season 1 Episode 4), the Larry King Show, and the Tyra Banks Show.[6] Simone is also fluent in French, having been partly raised in Switzerland. She was featured on the France 24 program A l'Affiche on April 5, 2016.[7]


  1. ^ "Nordlys - Lisa Simone og Tromsø Storband slipper album: - Et magisk samarbeid". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  2. ^ Improvisation so piano, Jean-Pierre Thiollet, Neva Editions, 2017, p. 272. ISBN 978-2-35055-éé8-6
  3. ^ Light, Alan (February 29, 2016). "How Nina Simone fell in love with her abusive husband". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ a b DANIELS, KARU F. (June 24, 2015). "Nina Simone's daughter details pain and abuse in Netflix documentary". NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
  5. ^ Lee, Christina (June 29, 2015). "10 Things We Learned From New Nina Simone Doc". Rolling Stone.
  6. ^ "Nina Simone laid to rest". Sun Journal. April 26, 2003. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  7. ^ "À L'affiche ! - Lisa Simone, digne héritière de la diva soul",

External links[edit]