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During her fierce defense of Chloe Bailey’s contemporary performance of “Feeling Good” on Friday night, RéAnna Simone Kelly, the granddaughter of Nina Simone, revealed that her family does not run the late singer’s estate.
“Grandma was unapologetically herself. She was a muhhhf*ckin badass woman who did what she wanted when she wanted. She was a sexual woman and she expressed that,” Kelly tweeted.
RéAnna then put Vice President Kamala Harris on full blast:
“Nina’s granddaughter here. My family doesn’t run her estate anymore. It was taken away from us & given to white people. Our family name was DRAGGED in the media. We get NO royalties, nothing. Wanna hold someone accountable? Ask Kamala Harris why she came for my family,” she continued.
She revealed that she has, at times, struggled to make ends meet and has contemplated sex work to pay her bills.
“&ask yourself this question. With grandma Nina being as famous as she is. With all of these artists covering her. Her name & likeness being used by damn near everybody. Why is it that her family is living paycheck to paycheck? Why do I have to consider stripping to pay my bills?” she added.
“My grandmother is influencing the masses (as she should!!). I see her on billboards. I see artists covering her music. It breaks my heart to know that white people are making money off of grandmas hard work and that we have had all of our rights as her family STRIPPED from us!!”
Harris has not responded to Kelly’s claims. In 2019, she paid tribute to the “I Wish I Knew” singer for Black History Month.
“Known as the “High Priestess of Soul,” Nina Simone’s iconic voice, life, and career called out racism, inequality, and the need for social justice. #BlackHistoryMonth,” she tweeted alongside a video of Simone.
The tweets sparked conversations on Twitter about what became of Simone’s estate. Court documents show that Harris, who served as attorney general at the time, ordered that Nina Simone’s daughter resign as a trustee of the estate over alleged misappropriated funds.
However, the fact that the estate in not Black-run shocked many.