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Netflix to release documentary on legendary singer Nina Simone in 2015

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Flickr / scarlatti2004

Netflix has plans to debut an original documentary covering legendary singer and activist Nina Simone next year. Titled What Happened, Miss Simone?, the film is directed by Academy Award-winning documentarian Liz Garbus, who has earned notoriety for her films The Farm: Angola, USA and the HBO documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World.

"One of the 20th century's greatest recording artists."

The film, co-produced with RadicalMedia, will follow Simone's life and work across three decades. Nina Simone, a beloved and controversial figure for most of her life, was a prolific songwriter and singer across multiple genres including jazz, blues, and R&B. She was also a prominent political voice, advocating heavily for civil rights and even armed revolt on behalf of African Americans while also criticizing the Vietnam war in her music. According to Netflix, What Happened, Miss Simone will represent "the most authentic, personal, and unflinching telling of the extraordinary life of one of the 20th century’s greatest recording artists."

Netflix has been on a tear recently with regard to new streaming content, and it's betting hard on big gambles and big names. Last month, the streaming giant picked up Tina Fey's upcoming sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the comedian's first show since 30 Rock. Meanwhile, it's latest drama Marco Polo, which is set to debut later this month, cost $90 million to produce, making it one of the most expensive shows ever made.