Jill Scott, Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius & Ledisi Shine On Nina Simone Classic

Earlier this year, I saw a video of Lizz Wright, Nina Simone's daughter Simone and the incomparable jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves singing a tribute to the legend by covering her classic "Four Women." I was convinced that their version was the most perfect I had ever heard, even more stunning, dare I say, than the original itself.

Fast forward, and the song "Four Women" is fast becoming one of the most covered songs of 2010. It's found its way onto the soundtrack of this week's most talked about new movie releases, For Colored Girls,and it was a featured song on last night's BET special, Black Girls Rock. Performed by an unexpected grouping of Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius, Jill Scott and Ledisi (who performs the song on the For Colored Girls soundtrack), the song is a perfect addition to an evening that centered around highlighting the contributions of Black women to the entertainment industry. While I've always felt the song was like a play's introduction to characters, but always sort of unfinished, leaving the characters as one-dimensional archetypes, the performances by each woman added shading that was signature to their own sound and image. Simply mesmerizing. Hands down, though, Ledisi stole it with her brilliant ending. Check it out for yourself below and share your comment with us.

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21 Responses

  1. It literally sent shivers down my spine!!!!

  2. Amazing performances by all four women, but when Ledisi sang her part, the faint hair on my arms stood up. She shut it down!

  3. This was AMAYYYYZING!!! But Ledisi owned this song.

  4. O M G that was beyond hot! I too had shivers! They really kilt' that in every way. If it were for sale, I would buy iy right now!!!

  5. this is everything. I feel enormously lucky to have seen them perform this live (TWICE!) at the BGR taping. I got tears in my eyes both times and again last night. simply amazing. and ledisi KILLED it.

  6. Her name is Marsha (not Marcia) Ambrosius. I love both the BGR, & Colored Girls covers, but nothing tops the original. Love them all!

  7. Unbelievable. All four presented wonderful interpretations, but yeah...Ledisi was the final word for a reason. Deadly. Just deadly...

  8. I have played this several times and I LOVE how each woman bought out the essence of "their" woman they sang to us about. Nina is smiling down on these women for carrying forth the legacy.

  9. yall gon side-eye me but i thought ledisi was doin the most with the facial expressions lol she always seems to overdo it imo
    but overall a great performance

  10. @Ariana: Thanks for the correction, girl. We really need to stop hitting the sauce BEFORE breakfast. 🙂

  11. Amazing! Wow! And I love Ledisi's expressions!

  12. That was very touching! love them all.

  13. Through and through, it was perfect! Chilling actually.

  14. Speechless....the song just touched me in so many ways....Beautiful!

  15. Ledisi makes the name "Peaches" sound like a revelation. Lawd have mercy! Sing it sistaz! Great performance.

  16. @sickwitit..side-eyed no..u got my face all scrunched up!!!!.....ledisi has a theatre background and 2 me she was just interpretating the disposition of the woman she was portraying..even though she does give u that same aura @ 1 of her own concerts..idk any strong, no-nonsense black woman that dont exhibit strong facial expressions, head movements and puttn thurr hands on thurr hips win gettn thurr point across...jill n ledisi had parts where they could n did act out the women they sang about...@ tafari..u do know that thurr r websites where u can take a video from youtube and convert it into an mp3 file which n return u can put it on a cd,ipod,mp3 player or cell phone if it has a memory card..i love listening 2 this song throughout my day!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. I just seen the encore performance and that song was a gift from heaven and the woman that sung it was the angels delivering it to earth it was worth watching again to see them sing that song again

  18. Ledisi KILLED it!

  19. This song and the amazing talent singing it was simply put "RIDICULOUS". Loved the various voices and uniqueness to each person.

  20. This is my anthem. I play it every morning noon and night. The best collaboration off all genres.....trying my best to get this on my Ipod.

  21. This is simply AMAZING, I too was there at the taping and to see and hear this in person brought chills down my back!They ALL killed it..murdered it! Four beautiful BLACK talented women who can ACTUALLY sing!