Los Angeles: Grammy award-winning jazz singer Nancy Wilson is no more. She was 81.
The artiste, who retired from touring in 2011, died after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, a California desert community near Joshua Tree National Park, her manager and publicist Devra Hall Levy revealed on Thursday night, reports dailymail.co.uk.
Influenced by Dinah Washington, Nat ‘King’ Cole and other stars, Wilson covered everything from jazz standards to “Little green apples” and in the 1960s alone released eight albums that reached the top 20 on Billboard’s pop charts.
She resisted being identified with a single category, especially jazz, and referred to herself as a “song stylist”.
“How glad I am” brought her a Grammy in 1965 for best R&B performance, and she later won Grammys for best jazz vocal album in 2005 for “R.S.V.P (Rare Songs, Very Personal)” and in 2007 for “Turned to Blue”.
The National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a Jazz Masters Fellowship in 2004 for lifetime achievement.
Wilson also had a busy career on television, film and radio, her credits including “Hawaii Five-O”, “Police Story” and years hosting “Jazz Profiles” series.
Active in the civil rights movement, including the Selma march of 1965, she received an NAACP Image Award in 1998.
Wilson was married twice; to drummer Kenny Dennis, whom she divorced in 1970; and to Wiley Burton, who died in 2008. She is survived by her son, Kacy Dennis; daughters Samantha Burton and Cheryl Burton; sisters Karen Davis and Brenda Vann and five grandchildren.
In accordance with Wilson’s wishes, there will be no funeral service, a family statement said.
A celebration of her life will be held most likely in February, the month of her birth.