Frank Sinatra Jr., the son of legendary singer Frank Sinatra and an artist himself, has died. He was 72.
The Sinatra family said in a statement that he died of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona, FL, and that they mourn the untimely passing of their son, brother, family, and uncle.
Though his father may have discouraged his son from going into the music business due to its challenges, Sinatra Jr. followed in the footsteps of his famous father as well as worked by his side. Gifted with a voice similar to his father’s, Sinatra Jr. began performing at clubs as a teen. When he was 19, he was kidnapped and held for ransom, though he was released a few days later and the kidnappers were caught and convicted. He later became his dad’s music director and at the age of 44 began serving as his father’s conductor. His debut album, 1965’s Young Love for Sale, was understandably influenced by his father and was also released on Reprise, which was also his father’s longtime label home.
In an interview with Express in the UK last year, Sinatra Jr. opened up about his early aspirations. He originally wanted to be a pianist and composer, but singing became a necessity. “It was the only way I could get a job,” he said. “I was hired as a novelty by the Tom Dorsey band and it was total exploitation but it gave me a job.”
Sinatra Jr. was also candid about the state of his career, which had relied heavily in recent years on performing tributes of his father’s work. Last year was the 100th anniversary of his dad’s birth. “I haven’t had a hit record or starred in a hit movie and since that’s how the entertainment business measures success, I don’t consider myself successful,” he said.
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Despite living in his father’s shadow for much of his career and covering other songs from his father’s era, he did write the original composition “Spice” on his most recent album, 2006’s That Face!, which was his first album of new material in a decade. It was recorded live and released on Rhino. Last year, Sinatra Jr. sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Yankee Stadium and also delivered the National Anthem at Dodgers Stadium in September.
He was scheduled to perform at The Peabody Daytona Beach on Wednesday, which was billed as “Frank Sinatra Jr.: ‘Sinatra Sings Sinatra’ The Centennial Celebration,” according to Ticketmaster.