PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Legendary singer Nancy Wilson has died at the age of 81.
Wilson spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh over the years because her husband was from here.
Wilson didn’t just perform – she entertained. Every time she stood in front of a microphone, she sang her heart out.
Many called her a jazz singer, but Wilson refused to be put in a box. She never wanted to the limited to just one genre.
The three-time Grammy award winner recorded more than 60 albums. Two of her golden Grammy statues came for work recorded in Pittsburgh.
Martin Ashby of the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild Produced her 2005 album “R.S.V.P.”
“Yeah, it is recorded right here on the North Side,” Ashby told KDKA’s Harold Hayes in a 2005 interview. “For those folks who don’t believe it, we did it here in this room as a matter of fact.”
“R.S.V.P.” was an acronym that stood for Rare Songs. Very Person. It won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
At the time, Ashby was thrilled to work with a living legend like Wilson.
“What we are trying to do around this music is preserve the history of it,” Ashby said.
But, Wilson had a career of making history. In the 60s, only The Beatles sold more albums for Capitol Records than she did. Her 1964 hit “How Glad I Am” showed a mastery that allowed her to morph pop, jazz and Broadway.
After more than 60 years in the limelight, Wilson stopped performing in 2011. It wasn’t before the oldest of six children from a family in Chillicothe, Ohio and a self-proclaimed “song stylist” etched her mark on her on the world of music.
Wilson passed away at her home in California on Thursday after a long illness.