Nancy Wilson
Recording artisit Nancy Wilson performs during the Thelonious Monk Jazz Tribute Concert For Herbie Hancock at the Kodak Theatre on October 28, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Legendary jazz singer Nancy Wilson, a Grammy-winning artist who fashioned herself a “song stylist,” died Thursday after a long illness. She was 81.

Wilson died peacefully at her home, according to manager Devra Levy.

A native of Chillicothe, Ohio, Wilson initially focused on R&B music but went on to embrace jazz ballads and torch songs. She made her debut with her 1961 single, “Guess Who I Saw Today.”

Wilson’s biggest hit came in 1964 with “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am,” which rose to the #11 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles and earned her a Grammy Award for best R&B recording.

She would win two more Grammy Awards in 2005 and 2007.

After a musical and acting career that spanned more than six decades, Wilson retired in 2011 from live performances to spend more time with her family.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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