Nancy Wilson Biography

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Nancy Wilson

Quick Facts Of Nancy Wilson

Celebrated Name Nancy Wilson
Age 81 Years
Nick Name Sweet Nancy
Birth Name Nancy Wilson
Birth Date 1937-02-20
Gender Female
Profession Singer
Birth Nation United States
Place Of Birth Chillicothe, Ohio
Siblings 5
Nationality American
Father Olden Wilson
Mother Lillian Ryan
High School West High School
College / University Central State College
Education High School Graduate
Husband Kenny Dennis (1960-1970), Reverend Wiley Burton(1973-2008)
Death Date 13 December 2018
Cause Of Death Long time illness
Net Worth $15 million
Children Kenneth (Kacy) Dennis Jr., Samantha Burton, Sheryl Burton (adopted)
Genre Jazz, R&B, Blues, pop, soul
Career Start 1956
Career Best Win 3 Grammy Awards
Best Known For "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" and "Guess Who I Saw Today"

Nancy Sue Wilson famed as Nancy Wilson was an American singer, who spent over five decades in the musical career before retiring in the early 2010s. She was also a civil right activist. She passed away on 13 December 2018, at the age of 81. She earned popularity as a jazz singer. She is given the title, "the complete entertainer" and "consummate actress". Her songs are mostly based on Jazz, R&B, pop, blues, and soul genre. She recorded over 70 albums and has won three Grammy Awards and earned several nominations. She is best known for her single "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" and her version of the standard "Guess Who I Saw Today".

She was called by the nicknames, "Sweet Nancy", "The Baby", "The Girl With the Honey-Coated Voice", and "Fancy Miss Nancy".

Gossips and Rumors

Three Grammy Awards winner, a jazz singer, Nancy Wilson passed away at the age of 81 on 13 December 2018. She died at her home in Pioneertown in California. The reason for her death has not been made official yet. However, she was suffering from long time illness.

She was hospitalized with anemia and potassium deficiency in 2006. Later in 2008, she was again hospitalized for lung complications. 

She has over 70 albums released during her five decades plus musical career.

Best Known For

  • Her single "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" and her version of the standard "Guess Who I Saw Today".

Early Life of Nancy Wilson

Nancy Sue Wilson was born on 20 February 1937. She was born to Lillian Ryan and Olden Wilson. She was born in Chillicothe, Ohio in the United States. She held American nationality. She has 5 siblings. She used to sing in church choirs, and at grandmother's house during summer visits. Eventually, she dreamt of becoming a singer at the age of four.

She attended West High School. She joined Central State College in Ohio. However, she dropped out of college to pursue her career in singing.

Career of Nancy Wilson

Initially, she joined Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Big Band in 1956. She won the spot via audition. 

She moved to New York City, as suggested by Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, where she got her first big break to sing at the club, "Blue Morocco". She used to sing at nights and work as a secretary for the New York Institute of Technology during the day.

"Guess Who I Saw Today" was her first debut single, which became a hit. Her first album was Like in Love.

She rose to more prominence as her R&B song, "Save Your Love For Me" became a hit.

"(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" was one of her most successful hit that peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

She got her own series on NBC, The Nancy Wilson Show. The show won her Emmy.

She has appeared in the several television series including I Spy, The F.B.I., Room 222, Police Story, and several others.

She has also guest appeared in popular television shows such as The Tonight Show, The Danny Kaye Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Cosby Show The Carol Burnett Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Flip Wilson Show, and several other shows.

In the 1980s, she recorded five albums for the Japanese labels. She also won the annual Tokyo Song Festivals.

She performed on a public stage for the last time at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio on 10 September 2011.

Awards and Honors of Nancy Wilson

She won her first Grammy Award for her album How Glad I Am in the category best rhythm and blues. She later won two Grammys for Best Jazz Vocal Album for R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) in 2005, and Turned to Blue in 2007.

She was the recipient of the Playboy Reader Poll Award for best jazz vocalist in 1998.

She has also received the 1992 Whitney Young Jr. Award from the Urban League, 1998  Playboy Reader Poll Award for best jazz vocalist, 1986 Global Entertainer of the Year by the World Conference of Mayors, 1993 Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, 1998 NAACP Image Award-Hall of Fame Award, 1994 Trumpet Award for Outstanding Achievement, and several other high ranking honors.

She received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990, at 6541 Hollywood Blvd.

Personal Life of Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson first married drummer Kenny Dennis in 1960. The couple was blessed with a son, Kenneth (Kacy) Dennis Jr., born in 1963. They separated in 1970.

She then married Presbyterian minister, Reverend Wiley Burton on 22 May 1973. They were blessed with a daughter, Samantha Burton, born in 1975. They adopted Sheryl Burton in 1976.

She died on 13 December 2018 at her home in Pioneertown, California, at the age of 81, after a long illness. Her husband, Burton died of renal cancer in 2008.

Net Worth of Nancy Wilson

The net worth of popular Jazz singer Nancy Wilson was estimated at $15 million. She earned most of her fortune via musical career.



Did You Know?

  • She called the year 1998, the most difficult year of her life, as both of her parents passed away in that year.
  • She was the recipient of the Playboy Reader Poll Award for best jazz vocalist in 1998.
  • She has also recorded five albums for Japanese labels.
  • She started her career as a fill-in singer for Irene Reid at the club "The Blue Morrocco".
  • She worked at the clubs before graduating from high school.
  • She won a talent contest sponsored by the local ABC television station WTVN at the age of 15.

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