Nancy Sinatra is an American pop/rock singer and actress, still popular for her mid-1960s hit song ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. The daughter of the great Frank Sinatra, she made her debut in 1957 when she appeared on her father’s ABC-TV variety series but her popularity was limited to Europe and Japan. But in 1966 when her signature hit ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin' hit the floor she became a household name and a favorite pin-up of troops during the Vietnam War. During the 1960s, her fashionable high boots and her appearance with colorfully dressed ‘go-go dancers’ portrayed an image of popular ‘swinging sixties’ and became a trend among young girls. Nancy became a well-known name among pop and rock music lovers between 1966 and 1967 when she charted with 13 titles, featuring Billy Strange as the arranger. She partnered with Lee Hazlewood in many of her songs and their duets soon became immensely popular among fans. Sinatra also appeared in some movies alongside famous figures like her father Frank Sinatra and the legendary Elvis Presley. Though her acting career did not stretch too long, she did achieve a lot of fame appearing alongside legendary figures in popular films. She took a lengthy break from her professional life in the 1980s due to personal reasons but returned as determined as ever and still continues to contribute to the music industry despite her advanced age.
Childhood & Early Life
Nancy Sinatra was born as Nancy Sandra Sinatra on June 8, 1940, in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is the daughter of legendary musician Frank Sinatra and Nancy Barbato (Nancy Sinatra Sr.), the eldest child of their three children.
In her childhood Nancy moved from New Jersey to Toluca Lake, California due to her father’s professional career. There, she took lessons in drama, piano, and dancing. She was also given voice lessons by her father as well as professional tutors. Her lessons in the fine arts were lengthy, and she mastered those arts with pure devotion, practicing the crafts for years.
She was brought up in a family where music was a matter of bread and butter. Her father Frank Sinatra was a legendary singer who was recognized as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was also one of the best-selling music artists in history, selling over 150 million records worldwide.
Inspired by her family culture, Nancy started taking music lessons at the University of California, Los Angeles. However, she dropped out the next year to pursue her professional career.
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Career in Music
Nancy Sinatra made her first professional television appearance in 1960, alongside her father on his own television special, ‘The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis’. This show was a tribute to Elvis Presley for his services in the U. S. Army, and Nancy went to the airport on behalf of her father to welcome Elvis Presley.
In 1961 she was signed by her father’s label ‘Reprise Records’ but her journey to stardom did not kick-start immediately. Her first single went almost un-noticed by the audience and it wasn’t until 1965 that she began to earn fame.
With a little help from the popular songwriter as well as arranger, Lee Hazlewood, Nancy found the much-needed inspiration and her career received a boost. Lee basically changed everything about her, from her singing style to her appearance. His advice of singing with a lower key and a complete makeover including blonde hair, heavy eye makeup, frosted lips as well as a ‘Carnaby Street’ style of fashion changed her fortunes.
In 1966 she made her name in the American as well as British music scenes with her title ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. This was a huge success and became a very popular song among the youth.
Over the ensuing years Sinatra made several songs which sold over a million copies. These included ‘How Does That Grab You, Darlin'?’ and ‘Sugar Town,’ both of which featured in the top 10 hits in U. S. charts as well.
Her success continued throughout the 1960s with hit songs such as ‘Friday’s Child’ in 1966, ‘Love Eyes’ in 1967, ‘Lightning’s Girl’ in 1967, ‘Tony Rome’ in 1967 and ‘The Highway Song’ in 1968 with Kenny Young; all these featured in top U. S. charts.
Sinatra’s discography includes some of the most popular albums of all time, such as ‘Boots’ in 1966, ‘Nancy in London’ in 1966, ‘Country, My Way’ in 1967, Reprise RS 6251, ‘Sugar’ in 1967, ‘Some Velvet Morning’ in 1967, ‘Nancy’ in 1969, ‘Woman’ in 1973, ‘One More Time’ in 1995, and ‘Sheet Music’ in 1998, ‘For My Dad’ in 1998, ‘How Does It Feel’ in 1999, ‘California Girl’ in 2002, ‘Nancy Sinatra’ in 2004, ‘Kid Stuff’ in 2008, and ‘Shifting Gears’ in 2013.
Nancy Sinatra had a brief yet fruitful acting career. She made her debut in 1964, appearing in the film ‘For Those Who Think Young’. Later in 1965, she co-starred with his father Frank Sinatra in the movie ‘Marriage on the Rocks’, where the real-life father and daughter also played the reel-life father and daughter.
She appeared alongside Peter Fonda in the movie ‘The Wild Angels’ in 1966 before featuring with the legendary Elvis Presley in the film ‘Speedway’ in 1968.
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Nancy Sinatra’s first big success was ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin', inspired by a line in Robert Aldrich's 1963 western comedy ‘4 for Texas’, featuring her father Frank Sinatra. This was written by Lee Hazlewood and was sold over a million copies. She received three Grammy Award nominations.
She recorded the single ‘Somethin' Stupid’, a duet with her father. This peaked at number 1 in U. S. top music charts and was sold over million copies. It earned her a Grammy Award nomination as well.
Awards & Achievements
Nancy Sinatra was honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2002 and also received a star on the International Walk of Fame Star Blvd., in Rotterdam in 2005.
Apart from her Grammy nominations, Sinatra was honored in October 2006 with ‘The Heart of a Patriot Award’ by the USO of Chicago for her years of support for the troops.
She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.
Nancy Sinatra’s first marriage was with Tommy Sands in 1960. The five-year-long union ended in a divorce in 1965.
Sinatra later married Hugh Lambert on December 12, 1970. Together they had two daughters, Angela Jennifer “A. J.” Lambert and Amanda Lambert. Hugh passed away in August 1985.
Nancy Sinatra has charted a total of 21 times on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
She has also charted 10 times on the Adult Contemporary chart as well as two times on the Country chart.
She is the first ever American singer to perform the title song of a James Bond film.