Last night, the gifted Lauryn Hill visited Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show to sing “Feeling Good,” a record of liberation and hard-fought optimism first recorded by the late Nina Simone.

Hill sings a capella before swells of support from background singers arrive, making for a gripping performance. It’s one of the Grammy winner’s highest points since falling in and out of the public eye after sharing her classic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, in 1998.

Hill co-executive produced Nina Revisited, an RCA project with production from Robert Glasper that revisits Simone’s old work with the voices of contemporary artists.

The legacy of esteemed singer Nina Simone has endured since her unfortunate passing in 2003, long after the height of her career arc in the ’60s. She’s responsible for some of the most powerful records of the 20th century and is widely regarded as one of the most talented singers of all time.

She’s also regularly interpolated in hip-hop. To cite two recent examples from both ends of the current rap landscape, Kanye West’s riotous “Blood On The Leaves” and Mick Jenkins’ “Martyrs” incorporate what might be her magnum opus, “Strange Fruit.”

Watch Hill’s homage-paying performance above. You can listen to Nina Revisited on Apple Music, and you can watch What Happened, Miss Simone?, the documentary about the legendary singer, on Netflix.


Listen to Simone’s oft-reinterpreted original, released 50 years ago in 1965, below.