AceShowbiz - Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Nancy Wilson has died at the age of 81.
Her manager Devra Hall Levy told The Associated Press on Thursday night, December 13, that the star, who is best known for her 1964 hit "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am", died peacefully at her home in Pioneertown, California after a long illness.
Born in Chillicothe, Ohio in February 1937, she won a talent contest while still at high school, winning the chance to appear on a local network television show, "Skyline Melodies", a programme she ended up hosting. In 1959 she moved from Ohio to New York and signed with Capitol Records, and had several hits on the U.S. R&B charts before her mainstream breakthrough, 1964's "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am".
Over a career spanning five decades, Wilson won three Grammy Awards, bagging a Best Rhythm & Blues Recording for "(You Don't Know) Glad I Am" in 1965. Her next two wins came four decades later as she won the Best Jazz Vocal prize in 2005 and 2007. The star was also a regular television actress, appearing in shows including "Hawaii Five-0", "The Cosby Show", and "Police Story".
Wilson was a significant figure in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta, Georgia.
The singer, who retired from touring in 2011, was married twice, first to drummer Kenny Dennis, a marriage which ended in divorce in 1970; and to Wiley Burton, who passed away in 2008. She had three children.