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It’s Dr. Nancy Wilson
By Yussuf J. Simmonds
Published June 21, 2012

The incomparable Dr. Nancy Wilson

An ageless wonder of music, she does not really need music to sing; her voice is the music

Whenever, the history of song and music is written, a prominent place will be  reserved for Nancy Wilson – indeed Dr. Nancy Wilson.  The world has been enjoying her work – music and songs – for over five decades.  She is the ultimate acclaimed song stylist, and her work has covered the gamut of gospel, blues, jazz, pop style ballads, show tunes and much more.  She recorded in the studio, performed on the stage, in television and films.

Last month, the prestigious Juilliard School of Music bestowed on her an honorary Doctor of Music degree, one of many that she already has. In addition Dr. Wilson has also received three Grammy Awards, three NAACP Awards, the UNCF Trumpet Award and she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Most recently, the Sentinel spoke with her briefly and asked her how she felt receiving an honorary Doctor of Music Degree from the prestigious Juilliard School and if she would consider being a guest lecturer there.  She responded in typical Nancy Wilson style, "Being there as a guest lecturer will be the same as being a full time teacher … it’ll take just as much effort (and energy)."

In 2010 while Dr. Wilson was being honored by the Brotherhood Crusade, she mentioned, "I’m clearing my calendar and I won’t be doing anything for a year," and she emphasized, "nothing for a whole year."  When she was recently reminded about that, she said, "I’m still doing nothing."

And in the most wonderful and modest way, when referred to as ‘Dr.’ Nancy Wilson, she says, "This is not my first doctorate degree, I have already received two (doctorate degrees) in the past."  She reiterates in the most humbling and modest way.

And in the most nonchalant, Dr. Wilson has rubbed shoulders with some of the greats in the music world including Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine, Count Basie, and Cannonball Adderly just to name a few.

Her legacy seems to have already been carved in stone, in the annals of music history – Dr. Nancy could easily be anointed as ‘the Patron Saint of Music.’


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