Nancy Sinatra and her transformation from failing singer to fashion icon

Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, was born on June 8, 1940, as the eldest daughter of Frank Sinatra and his wife, Nancy Barbato Sinatra.

In Sinatra’s early years, the family moved to Hasbrouck Heights in New Jersey.

“We had a lovely little house there, but you could get to the windows from the street—once people knew he lived there, they would come to get a glimpse, which worried my mother because I was a tiny little toddler, and she didn’t want anybody stealing me from the front yard,” Nancy recalled in an interview with The Guardian

The little girl grew up surrounded by stars and wealth, locked in the ever-present spotlight of fame – so you’d think her transition into being a singing sensation in her own right would have been smooth.

But her first singles were a failure, and she was close to being dropped by her father’s record label, Reprise Records. Then, however, after some vocal training and an image change, Nancy enjoyed the success we all remember her for.

When her family moved to California, so her father could pursue his acting career in Hollywood, Nancy took dancing, acting, piano, and voice lessons.

She’s best remembered for wearing her iconic go-go boots and singing “These Boots Are Made For Walking.” The song even had a music video to go with it, a rarity in the days before MTV.

”I knew it was a hit the first time [writer-producer] Lee Hazlewood played the bass line on his guitar in my mother’s living room. When I heard the track in the studio, I knew then and there it would be a number-one record. I even told Lee to release the track without the vocal! The fact that it has been embraced by generation after generation of little girls is proof of its staying power. I was the lucky one to record it and I think the fashion helped it along. Girls always want a pair of boots,” Nancy Sinatra told Los Angeles Magazine in 2016.

But before the hit that earned her three Grammy nominations, she had dropped out of college after a year, had married and divorced and was nearly dropped by her father’s record label.

Thankfully songwriter Lee Hazlewood taught her to sing in a lower tone, she adopted the “Carnaby Street” look and in 1966, released her best-known single which reached No. 1 in the United States Billboard Hot 100 and in the U.K. Singles Chart.

Following her success, she had other hits, including “How Does That Grab You, Darlin’?” and “Sugar Town.” She even appeared on the silver screen playing lead roles alongside Peter Fonda in 1966’s The Wild Angels, and Elvis Presley in Speedway in 1968.

The fashion icon stepped away from the limelight in the 1970s to raise her children from her second marriage to Hugh Lambert.

But came back with a bang by posing for Playboy at the age of 54, and released her third album, which includes musicians such as Bono and Morrissey, which she says acted as a mentor to her.

She released two books about her father and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And as for her iconic go-go boots she can’t recall what happened to them, believing she gave them away at some point.

Nancy Sinatra’s love life
In 1960, Sinatra married teen singing idol Tommy Sands – but they divorced just a few years later.

In 1970 she was ready for a new marriage when Hugh Lambert came into her life. Nancy briefly stepped out of the spotlight to raise her two daughters. Unfortunately, Lambert died from cancer in 1985.

Today, Nancy keeps herself busy and has no plans to slow down. In 2020, she opened Nancy’s Bootique, an online shop where fans can order CDs, exclusive merchandise, and signed items.

In addition, during the pandemic and until 2021, Nancy hosted a weekly radio show called Nancy for Frank, where she shared details on her life and her relationship with her late father.

Such a fashion icon that still inspires us today.

Please share with all the Sinatra fans you know.

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