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Famous Black celebrities with mental illness

 Nina Simone

Nina Simone

Nina Simone Album cover

Legendary performer and activist  Nina Simone suffered from bipolar disorder.  The 2004 book, Nina Simone: Break Down and Let It All Out, written by Sylvia Hampton and David Nathan, revealed to the public Simone’s battle with her condition. A portion reads:

“Nina Simone had a reputation in the music industry for being volatile and sometimes difficult to deal with, a characterization with which she strenuously took issue. In 1995, she shot and wounded her neighbor’s son with a pneumatic pistol after his laughter disturbed her concentration. She also fired a gun at a record company executive whom she accused of stealing royalties. It is now recognized that this  ‘difficulty’ was the result of bipolar disorder. Simone reluctantly took medication for her condition from the mid-1960s on. All this was only known to a small group of intimates, and kept out of public view for many years.”


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