Transition: Nina Simone, 70

What Eunice Waymon had wanted, when she was growing up poor and gifted in North Carolina, was to be a concert pianist. What she ended up with was the creation she called Nina Simone: a dark-voiced, almost scary singer, an eclectic jazz-based pianist, an impassioned songwriter, a civil-rights activist, a cult favorite, a troubled soul. Simone had won a scholarship to Juilliard, had to leave when she ran out of money, was rejected by Philadelphia's Curtis Institute and started playing piano in a bar where they told her she had to sing, too. "I was forced into showbiz to make a living," Simone recalled. "And I'm still angry about it." But her anger served her art--it, too, turned out to be a gift. One she had the courage to accept and the strength to use.