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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Meshell Ndegeocello debuts 'Be My Husband' from Nina Simone tribute album

Meshell Ndegeocello just dropped "Be My Husband," the first song from her forthcoming tribute album to Nina Simone, titled Pour une âme souveraine (“For a sovereign soul”). The LP, scheduled to be released Oct. 9 on Naive Records, will be Ndegeocello's tenth. Revered for both her musical and political outspokenness, Simone's influence has been reflected in Ndegeocello's own career.

“She wanted success, was pressured to make hits, but her own sound was still irrepressible,” explains Meshell. “She had things to say, she protested. She was a loud, proud black, female voice during a time when black female voices were not encouraged to make themselves heard.”

Ndegeocello's version of "Be My Husband," which debuted today on NPR, is a funky cover featuring the voice of New York singer-songwriter Valerie June. It starts off bare-bones, complete with stomps and hand-claps, before building into a stirring reverie backed by Ndegeocello's grinding bassline. Other guests on the album of Simone standards and traditional classics include Sinead O'Connor, Tracy Wannomae, Toshi Reagon, and Atlanta natives Lizz Wright and Cody ChesnuTT.

The video below features a hexing live performance of "Be My Husband" by Nina Simone before a packed Central Park crowd at the Harlem Festival in 1969.

Peep the album's tracklist below the break...

Pour une âme souveraine tracklist

1. Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

2. Suzanne

3. Real Real feat. Toshi Reagon

4. House of the Rising Sun feat. Toshi Reagon

5. Turn Me On

6. Feelin’ good

7. Don’t Take All Night feat. Sinead O’Connor

8. Nobody’s Fault But Mine feat. Lizz Wright

9. Be My Husband feat. Valerie June

10. Black is the Color of My True Loves Hair feat. Valerie June

11. See Line Woman feat. Tracy Wannomae

12. Either Way I Lose

13. To Be Young, Gifted and Black feat. Cody ChesnuTT

14. Four Women

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