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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 20 February 1937Chillicothe, Ohio, USA
Birth NameNancy Sue Wilson

Mini Bio (1)

Jazz singer Nancy Wilson, a three-time Grammy Award-winner, was born on February 20, 1937 in Chillicothe, Ohio to iron-worker Olden Wilson and the former Lillian Ryan, who worked as a domestic servant. Nancy was the first of six children. Her father's love of music and the records he played at home were a huge influence on Nancy as a young girl. She already knew she would be a singer by the time she was four years old, and developed her talent by singing in the church choir.

She won a TV-talent show when she 15, and began appearing regularly on the Tv show "Skyline Melodies" while still in high school. She began working in night clubs at that same age.

After graduating from high school, the 17-year old Nancy matriculated for one year at Ohio's Central State College (now Central State University) before dropping out and becoming a professional singer. She recorded her first record with Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Big Band in 1956, with whom she toured from 1956 to 1958. While in the group, Nancy made her first recording with Dot Records.

Cannonball Adderley told her to move to New York to further her career, and she went to The Big Town in 1959. Within a month, she got a job singing at The Blue Morocco Night Club on Boston Road in The Bronx, where Adderley's agent heard her and signed her. He obtained a contract for with Capitol records in 1960, and she made her debut that year with the single. "Guess Who I Saw Today."

Her records were successful, and Capitol issued five Nancy Wilson albums in two years. Initially focusing on rhythm and blues, under Adderley's influence, she moved away from R&B and embraced jazz and torch songs. Their 1962 collaboration "Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley" helped propel her to the top, and she had her breakout hit, "Tell Me the Truth," in 1963. This brought her a gig at New York's Coconut Grove, the premier night club in America, the following year, and she became a star.

Her 1964 song "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" reached #11 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. Eventually, she charted 11 songs in the Hot 100. Nancy also placed four albums in Billboard's Top LP charts between March 1964 and June 1965.

She won her first Grammy in 1964, for best R&B recording for her LP "How Glad I Am." Nancy continued recording into the 21st Century, winning Best Jazz Vocal Grammy Awards for her albums "R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal)" (2005) and "Turned to Blue" (2007). She retired from live performance in 2011.

In addition to singing, Nancy Wilson also is an actress. She made numerous appearances on American TV. She also made a one-off appearance on the BBC with The Nancy Wilson Show (1966) in 1966 that was turned into a soundtrack album.

Nancy was married twice, to drummer Kenny Dennis from 1960-70. They had one child. She married the Presbyterian minister Wiley Burton in 1973. Married 35 years until his death in 2008, they had two children.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (2)

Reverend Wiley Burton (22 May 1974 - 1 August 2008) (his death) (2 children)
Kenneth Davis (21 December 1960 - 1970) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (7)

Born at 8:57am-EST
Singer
Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999.
Recipient of a Jazz Masters Award from the USA's National Endowment for the Arts in 2004.
Grammy Award Winner for Best New Artist, 1964. That same year, she also had her biggest hit single with "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" (Capitol: 1964).
She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

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