Born on 8 June 1940 in Jersey City, New York, Nancy Sinatra was the oldest of three children born to Frank and Nancy Sinatra.
While she was still a child the family moved to Southern California where she attended high school in Los Angeles, before moving on to the University of Southern California where she majored in economics.
Entertainment was naturally in her blood, but she was determined not to rely on her father’s fame and influence, so learning to play the piano and taking vocal and dance lessons ran parallel with her studies.
In 1961 she recorded her first single, Cuff Links and A Tie Clip on her father’s Reprise label. She subsequently issued a handful of singles and enjoyed some success in Japan, but remained an also-ran in her home country.
That situation changed with the release of So Long Babe in 1965. The single peaked in the US chart at #86.
Personal problems clashed with her budding professional life. In a blaze of publicity she married, and subsequently divorced, Tommy Sands in 1966, then met Lee Hazelwood.
He wrote These Boots Are Made For Walking for her because he believed she had experienced enough of life’s emotional upheavals to recognise the meaning of the lyrics. Hazelwood dictated that his composition be sung “like a 16-year-old girl who’s been dating a 40-year-old man”.
The single raced to #1 in America, and within weeks was an international hit. Nancy became the first American female singer to reach #1 in Britain since Connie Francis with Stupid Cupid in 1958.
Sinatra had finally made it, without her father’s help. Most importantly, the single afforded Nancy the opportunity to star in countless American television shows before finally hosting her own Movin’ With Nancy special.
The follow-up single, How Does That Grab You Darlin’, soared into the American charts, reaching #7 (#19 in Britain). Sugartown (1967) did even better, peaking at #5 in the US and #8 in Britain.
It was at this time that Nancy persuaded her father to duet with her on a record. The single, Somethin’ Stupid (March 1967) became the first daughter/father single to top both the American and British charts.
Further hit singles followed for Nancy, who also pursued a lucrative acting career, appearing in movies such as Get Yourself A College Girl (1964) and The Oscar (in which she played herself). She is probably best-remembered for her co-starring role with Elvis Presley in Speedway (1968).