Culture Trips

Nancy Sinatra: I was too shy for showbusiness | Nancy Sinatra

The singer Nancy Sinatra has said she lacked the confidence to pursue a “big career” in showbusiness as her father, Frank, did.

The singer established herself as a musical force in her own right during the 60s with her signature hit These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ and the title song of the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

But speaking to the Big Issue magazine, the US star, who turned 80 in June, suggested she was in reality too shy for fame. She said: “I lacked a certain amount of confidence. I was OK with a certain amount of success but I didn’t feel confident enough to really pursue a big career. I don’t know why. I think I was just too shy.

“Maybe it wasn’t the career for me. I’ve always been interested in anthropology. If I’d stayed in school, I might have gotten into that. But I also believe in destiny. I think I was brought here to the planet to contribute something to women. And I hope I’ve done that.”

Sinatra starred in a series of films including The Wild Angels in 1966 and the Elvis Presley feature Speedway in 1968.

Speaking about her career, she said: “If I could go back in time I would probably take more jobs that were offered me along the way.

“I was nervous and shy and I didn’t take advantage of opportunities that I had. And that’s very sad. They say that what you regret at the end of your life is not what you did, but what you didn’t do. And there’s a lot of stuff I didn’t do.”

Sinatra also recalled feeling she had to prove herself to an audience familiar with her father and his music. She said: “It was pretty clear from the get-go that I’d have to work hard to get beyond my name. In the beginning I named myself Nancy Nice Lady because of the nature of the music I was doing, which was all bubblegum.

“And then later, [songwriter and producer] Lee Hazlewood came into my life and he nicknamed me Nasty Jones. He said I could be anybody and make hit records, I didn’t have to be a Sinatra. He had faith in me and he gave me faith in myself. He gave me courage.”

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