Nina Simone was more than just a singer. History ranks her alongside James Brown as a proponent of civil rights for black Americans, while her legendary temperament was enough to intimidate musicians, audiences and promoters alike. Yet her delivery, originally inspired by Billie Holiday, of even the most banal of lyrics put her in the premier league of jazz and soul divas. Indeed, many critics believe that no-one since has approached Simone's achievements as a vocalist/instrumentalist. Alicia Keys, Jeff Buckley, Mary J Blige and Lauryn Hill are among recent artists to have paid homage to the High Priestess of Soul; now it's our turn.