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Emmys 2017
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Solange and Dev Hynes give Nina Simone's 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black' a powerful cover

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Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Rihanna and Travis Scott’s cameos during Kanye West’s set weren’t the only surprises at this weekend’s FYF Festival. During her Sunday set, soulstress Solange Knowles welcomed Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Moses Sumney, and the soul trio KING for a soaring Nina Simone cover. Fan-shot footage of the “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” performance has surfaced, as has their rehearsal.

Despite being Solange’s stage, they all took turns singing lead. Solange introduced the song saying, “It was originally by the legendary Nina Simone, remade by the legendary Donny Hathaway, and that’s how we been feeling these days,” before they launched into a rendition that more closely echoed Mr. Hathaway’s than the original. Helped along by the very rare chug of Hynes’ guitar and keyboard, it’s a simple and understated version where Simone’s lyrics take center.

On her website, Knowles wrote of the choice, “It was a really special and spiritual moment of solidarity and pride, in celebrating our blackness. I was so grateful to share that with such beautiful, like-minded artists.”

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