Because we concentrate more on artists' personal lives than we do the art they create. Her personal life overshadows the music.
You might think the problems in her life would attract attention.
Hers aren't glamorous, though -- they're really deep-seated mental-health issues that border on some social-political ledges.
Do you think her music helps to exorcise those troubles?
Man, I'm like an Islamic atheist: Whatever gift it is that she has comes in the form of something I don't understand. We're all just bags of bones and muscle and hormones; I'll never understand what makes our minds do the things we do. It's like that statue of the monkey holding a skull. We're trying to use a thing we don't understand to understand ourselves.
And what about Nina Simone? How does struggle factor into her music?
Her music has great sadness but also great joy. It's super-sexy but also profound. And even when it's sad, the fact that she's translated her feeling to you -- that's the triumph to me.