The 'All of Me' hitmaker has always been a big fan of the iconic jazz singer, and admits he and Chrissy Teigen's decision to name their little girl Luna Simone was in part a tribute to his idol.
He said: ''In my teen years, I was listening to a range of things from classic soul to New Jack Swing to hip-hop to jazz. I started to listen to Nina Simone a lot during that time and became a big fan of hers. She's one of my favourite artists as well and a big influence. I named my daughter Luna Simone as an homage to her.''
And the 38-year-old singer also likes the ''really cool coincidence'' that ties his 14-month-old daughter's name to the title of his latest album, 'Darkness and Light'.
He added in an interview with Client magazine: ''Luna means moon, she's literally the light in the darkness.
''The song playing when she was born was 'Superfly' by Curtis Mayfield. The opening line of that song is 'Darkest of night, with the moon shining bright.'
''I didn't name her or the album with these connections in mind, but it was a really cool coincidence once I noticed the connection.''
John credits his wife and daughter for helping him stay grounded, but he also thinks the fact he became famous when he wasn't too young has helped.
He said: ''I think it helped that I became famous in my mid-20s rather than as a teen. I had graduated from university and worked a corporate job. I had a good group of friends already and was used to taking care of myself.
''And now, I'm married and have a daughter. Having a family certainly helps keep me focused on what's important in life.''
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.