Nina Simone - Little Girl Blue (1958)

Her exceptional debut, basically a live set recorded in a New York studio with bassist Jimmy Bond and drummer Tootie Heath, fanfares the arrival of a singer, songwriter, interpreter and pianist, fully-formed on what would become her greatest hits: Love Me Or Leave Me, I Loves You Porgy, My Baby Just Cares For Me. With an approach bridging jazz and pop and nudging towards the yet-to-be-named soul, Simone stares down demons with a bluesy depth of feeling and a classically-trained precision. LW

Runners-up: Billie Holiday Lady In Satin, Buddy Holly Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis.