American singer Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, was born on June 8, 1940. Nancy's No. 1 hit single in 1966, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," forever associated go-go boots with her name. Known for her sexy girl-next-door image, she was a favorite pin-up of troops during the Vietnam War. After a brief hiatus in the 1980s to help raise her family, Sinatra returned to the music scene in 1995. She continues to work in the music industry today.
Nancy Sinatra was born on June 8, 1940, in Jersey City, New Jersey. She was the eldest of three children born to famed crooner Frank Sinatra and his wife, Nancy Barbato Sinatra.
The family moved to Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, in Sinatra's early years. In an interview with The Guardian, Sinatra recalled that her family "had a lovely little house there, but you could get to the windows from the street—once people knew he lived there, they would come to get a glimpse, which worried my mother because I was a tiny little toddler, and she didn't want anybody stealing me from the front yard."
Her mother had good intuition for this fear. In 1963, kidnappers held Sinatra's brother, Frank Jr., for $250,000 ransom. Her father paid, and her brother was released.
When Hollywood called, the family moved to Toluca Lake, California. It was a happy childhood, with Sinatra showing great interest in the creative arts. She took lessons for 11 years in piano, eight years in dance, five years in dramatic performance and several months in voice. These classes served her well in the development of her career.
Sinatra started her career in 1960, debuting on The Frank Sinatra Timex Show. Within the year Reprise Records signed her, but though she was popular in Europe and Japan, none of her songs made the U.S. charts. Things turned around in 1966 when, armed with a new tough and sexy image, she hit No. 1 with her single, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." This success would tie go-go boots to the singer throughout her career.
Appearances on TV ensued, with roles in the films The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966), Last of the Secret Agents? (1967), The Wild Angels (1967) and Speedway, alongside Elvis Presley (1968), and TV shows like The Smothers Brothers Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Sinatra also conceived and produced the Emmy-winning television special Movin' With Nancy.
Though she enjoyed acting, her focus remained on singing. Most of her hits were produced by Lee Hazlewood, and from 1966 through 1967 she scored many hit singles, including "How Does That Grab You, Darlin?" (No. 7) and "Sugar Town" (No. 4). She also recorded the theme song to the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, and had a No. 1 hit record with her father, titled "Somethin' Stupid." Other popular songs included duets she recorded with Hazlewood, including "Sand," "Summer Wine" and "Some Velvet Morning."
Sinatra's popularity and looks made her a favorite pinup for GIs during the Vietnam War. Nancy in turn supported the troops by performing for them overseas.
In the 1970s she continued to record songs, but pulled out of the spotlight to raise her family. In addition to singing, Sinatra wrote two books about her famous father: Frank Sinatra, My Father (1985) and Frank Sinatra: An American Legend (1998).
In 1995 the 54-year-old Sinatra sought a comeback, recording her One More Time album, touring and posing in a Playboy pictorial.
In 2003 Sinatra partnered with Hazlewood to record the album Nancy & Lee 3, in which was released only outside of the United States. The next year the disc Nancy Sinatra debuted.
For her accomplished decades-long career, Sinatra received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. The following year, she launched a weekly three-hour Sirius Satellite Radio show, Nancy for Frank, and hosted Siriusly Sinatra.
She released a digital-only project called Cherry Smiles—The Rare Singles in 2009, and today continues to record and collaborate on music projects.
Sinatra married teen singing idol Tommy Sands in 1960, and they divorced just a few years later. In 1970 she married Hugh Lambert and briefly stepped out of the spotlight to raise her two daughters. Lambert died from cancer in 1985.
During the Vietnam War Sinatra supported the troops, something she continued to do over the decades. In 2006 the USO of Chicago honored her with the Heart of a Patriot Award, and the following year the Vietnam Veterans of America presented her with their President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Sinatra actively manages the family website www.sinatrafamily.com, which was created for fans interested in discussion about Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra Sr., Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr., Tina Sinatra and more.
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