Nancy Wilson

Jazz Singer
Born Feb 20, 1937

Nancy Wilson is an American singer with more than 70 albums, and three Grammy Awards. She has been labeled a singer of blues, jazz, cabaret and pop; a "consummate actress"; and "the complete entertainer. " The title she prefers, however, is song stylist. She has received many nicknames including "Sweet Nancy", "The Baby", "Fancy Miss Nancy" and "The Girl With the Honey-Coated Voice".… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about Nancy Wilson.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Nancy Wilson.


1937 Birth On February 20, 1937, Wilson was the first of six children born to Olden Wilson, an iron foundry worker, and Lillian Ryan, a maid in Chillicothe, Ohio. … Read More


1956 19 Years Old 1 More Event
…  She auditioned and won a spot with Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Big Band in 1956.


1959 22 Years Old When Wilson met Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, he suggested that she should move to New York City, believing that the big city would be the venue in which her career could bloom. In 1959, she relocated to New York with a goal of obtaining Cannonball’s manager John Levy as her manager and Capitol Records as her label. … Read More
Capitol Records signed her in 1960.
1962 25 Years Old In 1962, they collaborated, producing the album Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley, which propelled her to national prominence, and Wilson would later appear on Adderley's live album In Person (1968). … Read More
1963 26 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1963 "Tell Me The Truth" became her first truly major hit, leading up to her performance at the Coconut Grove in 1964 – the turning point of her career, garnering critical acclaim from coast to coast. … Read More
1964 27 Years Old In 1964, Wilson won her first Grammy Award for the best rhythm and blues recording for the album How Glad I Am. … Read More


1973 36 Years Old On May 22, 1973, she married a Presbyterian minister, the Reverend Wiley Burton.
1975 38 Years Old She gave birth to Samantha Burton in 1975, and the couple adopted Sheryl Burton in 1976. … Read More


1977 40 Years Old In 1977 she recorded the theme song for The Last Dinosaur, a made-for-TV movie which opened in theaters in Japan. … Read More
1982 45 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1982 she recorded with Hank Jones and the Great Jazz Trio. … Read More
1986 49 Years Old In 1986, she was dubbed the Global Entertainer of the Year by the World Conference of Mayors. … Read More


1989 52 Years Old In 1989 Nancy Wilson in Concert played as a television special. … Read More
1995 58 Years Old In 1995, Wilson performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the San Francisco Jazz Festival in 1997.


1999 62 Years Old In 1999, she hosted a show in honor of Ella Fitzgerald entitled Forever Ella on the A & E Network.
2001 64 Years Old 1 More Event
All the proceeds from 2001's A Nancy Wilson Christmas went to support the work of MCG Jazz. … Read More
2004 67 Years Old Wilson was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships award in 2004, the highest honors that the United States government bestows upon jazz musicians.
In 2005 she received the NAACP Image Awards for Best Recording Jazz Artist.
2006 69 Years Old 1 More Event, August 20, 2006: "It's been a long career for the polished Wilson, whose first albums appeared in the 1960s, and she faces that truth head-on in such numbers as 'These Golden Years' and 'I Don't Remember Ever Growing Up'. … Read More
2007 70 Years Old At the Hollywood Bowl, August 29, 2007, Wilson celebrated her 70th birthday with an all-star event hosted by Arsenio Hall. … Read More
2008 71 Years Old In March 2008, she was hospitalized for lung complications, recovered and claimed to be doing well. … Read More
2011 74 Years Old On September 10, 2011, she performed on a public stage for the last time at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. … Read More
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