Nancy Wilson

Christopher Andrew McDonald

Philadelphia-based vocalist Laurin Talese had one heck of a year in 2018. Her debut album, Gorgeous Chaos (2016), was our Jazz Album of the Week back in December—an achievement sufficient, no doubt, to make anyone’s year.

Nancy Wilson died Thursday after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, Calif., her manager Devra Hall Levy told NPR. She was 81.

Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1937, Wilson has recounted in interviews that she started singing around age 3 or 4.

"I have always just sung. I have never questioned what it is. I thank God for it and I just do it," she told Marian McPartland, host of NPR's Piano Jazz in 1994.