5. By the Time I Get to Arizona, Public Enemy. In 1987, when Arizona Governor Evan Mecham cancelled the state’s MLK Day holiday, Public Enemy wrote this song in protest. Mecham told protesters that “King doesn’t deserve a holiday.” On a side note, he was the first Arizona governor to be impeached and removed from office.
6. Why (The King of Love is Dead), Nina Simone. Upon hearing the news of King’s assassination, Nina Simone’s bass player, Gene Taylor, wrote this homage to King. Simone performed it April 7, 1968, at a concert she dedicated to the fallen leader.