Yola Covers Nina Simone’s ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black’ on ‘Seth Meyers’


Yola summoned Nina Simone’s spirit with her stirring cover of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” on Late Night with Seth Meyers Tuesday night (Sept. 15).

The U.K. country-soul singer performed Simone’s hit-turned-civil rights anthem with a full band at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, where she’ll return to make her headlining debut on May 11, 2021. Tickets for her show are available starting today (Sept. 16) on the Ryman’s website.

“Playing ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black’ means so much to me. I grew up with that song and it was the first time I felt a song was directed at me, in a world that didn’t represent me in any way,” the Grammy-nominated singer said. “Playing in the Ryman is such an honor; the room sounds exquisite and is full of legendary energy. It felt meaningful singing those words in that venue, and to take up space in that way.”

Yola released her debut album Walk Through Fire in 2019, which earned her one out of four nominations at the 2020 Grammys for best Americana album. She was also up for best new artist.

Watch Yola’s cover performance of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” below.



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