Listen: Usher Gets His Turn to Cover Nina Simone for ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’


For those who’d been anticipating Usher’s cover on the What Happened, Miss Simone? documentary soundtrack after the massive list of contributing artists was released, today’s a good day: it’s been shared in a bundle of new tracks, alongside another Lauryn Hill cover and Jazmine Sullivan’s version of “Baltimore.” Usher sings “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” an upbeat jazz standard from the 30s (performed by Simone in 1958), which is here updated with an ebullient, ’90s-nostalgic R&B feel. Listen:

And this has also been a triply exhilarating week for Lauryn Hill fans, as before today, the singer shared her cover of “Feeling Good” and a rap for the song “I’ve Got Life.” The cover Hill released this morning (she contributed in total to six songs for the documentary’s soundtrack — she also produced the film) is a quivering, electronic-smattered version of “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” It’s completely stunning — a total instrumental reinterpretation of the song that, despite its many adornments, doesn’t compromise the impact of Simone’s minimalist version of the folk ballad.