Nancy Wilson

Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson was born on March 16, 1954 in San Francisco, California. She is known as an American musician, singer, songwriter, actress and producer.


Background

She went to Pacific University in Oregon and Cornish College of Arts in Seattle where she majored in Art and German Literature. Nancy hails from a musical family. Her mother, Lou was a famous concert pianist and a choir singer. Her father John, formerly a marine, was a singer and musician.

She has two elder sisters, Lynn and Ann. Ann, the second sister, is also a famous singer and musician. Nancy and Ann were part of the famous rock music band, Heart. They were the core of the group. Her nicknames when she was growing up were Whizfingers and Hands of Granite.

Musical Career

Nancy’s career as a musician was influenced by famous band, The Beatles. She was watching them perform on The Ed Sullivan Show when the passion for music was lit inside her soul. At that time, she was about 10 years old. As children struck by The Beatles performance, she and her sister Ann played pretend musical performances in their living room.

In the early 1970s, the rock band Heart was formed and it was based in Seattle, Washington. Nancy joined the band in 1974 as the main guitarist. She was also the lead vocalist for several songs including These Dreams which hit the number one spot. She was also the lead on songs like Stranded and There’s The Girl, which were among the top twenty hits.

In the mid-1970s, the band shot to global fame. Their brand of music was influenced by hard rock, heavy metal and folk music. Nancy was part of the band from 1974 to 1995 and then again from 2002 until they took another break. Besides singing, she plays the guitar, keyboard, mandolin, harmonica and synthesizers.

Nancy loved being in a female dominated band, “People would say that to us all the time: “You’re pioneers for women in rock!” We were like, “Uh, okay.” We just did what we wanted to do. But we also happened to have a strong mother in our lives. She was a fiercely independent, self-educated woman from a military background. Both my parents were pretty enlightened. They encouraged us to follow our bliss, as they used to put it.”

Heart has been a successful band worldwide. Heart has released several studio albums to universal praise and acclaim. Their thirteenth album, Red Velvet Car was released in 2010. Along with her sister Ann, Nancy is ranked #40 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll. In 2012, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The members of the band Heart were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

[page-break]

Starting a New Chapter with a New Band

In an interview with Best Classic Bands, Nancy explained how her new band, Roadcase Royale formed. She was happy to take a trip down memory lane as she tried to remember details about most recent chapter of her career. When she was asked how they came up with the name of the band, Nancy said, “We went ’round and ’round on that for a couple of months. I had already started a production company called Roadcase, so I started thinking maybe we could incorporate that. I love the idea of road cases as characters, because they go everywhere you go. You roll them in, roll them out, they’re scuffed up–almost like rock characters. Plus the word “roadcase” reminds me of Heart. And “Royale” came to us as a connection to Prince’s New Power Generation, where Liv and Ryan both came from. The band name works on both those levels.”

Even though Nancy is most known for being a member of the classic band, Heart, she wanted to move away from the sound of her old band. She didn’t want to live in the past. She believes that her original band has a place in music history and didn’t want her new band to be a failed carbon copy of such a classic act. Nancy explained how her new band decided on what type of music they would perform, “It’s funny. Liv was already trying to move away a little bit from R&B, from soul, and go a bit more in a rock ’n’ roll direction. And I love sort of sliding into R&B styles. Between her coming toward “rock,” and me going towards “soul,” I think we created our own sound—a sound that’s different from what you normally hear out there. It’s definitely a rock band, but there’s R&B involved.”

Personal Life

In 1982, she appeared in a cameo for the film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The writer of the film was Cameron Crowe, whom she later married. In 1989, she along with Crowe appeared in Say Anything. It was a film directed by him and starred John Cusack in the lead role.

Nancy has had two marriages. Her first marriage was to Cameron Crowe in 1986. Crowe is a celebrity himself as he is a writer, producer and director. They have twin sons, Curtis Wilson and William James.

After fifteen years of marriage and not being able to conceive even after fertility treatments, she explored surrogate options. Attempts to use Nancy’s eggs were not successful. She and Cameron used an egg donor and surrogate. It was successful for the couple and in January 2000 the twins were born.

In 2008, Nancy and Cameron’s marriage started to crumble. They separated and it was a messy situation. The reason cited for their divorce was irreconcilable differences. They eventually divorced in 2010. However, they are successful co-parents to the twins that they brought into the world.

In 2011, she started dating Geoff Bywater, a producer of music and television shows for Fox. They got married in 2012 after one year of dating. People speculated that the marriage happened so quickly because Nancy was eager to move on and start a new life with her new man.

Last Modified: Mar 15, 2020


Related Biographies