Nancy Wilson entered this world today in 1954. She was reborn a short 10 years later after watching The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. A native of San Francisco, Nancy and her sister, Ann, grew up in Seattle and became the biggest rock act to come from that city since Jimi Hendrix.
That Beatles performance inspired Nancy to pick up a guitar and she and Ann started the long slog from sparsely attended acoustic shows in coffeehouses and church basements to sold out rock shows in arenas worldwide. Ann persuaded Nancy to join her in a band called Heart in 1974. By 1975 the band released their debut album, "Dreamboat Annie", in Canada.
Encouraged by airplay in border cities like Seattle, Detroit, and Cleveland, the album was released in the US on February 14, 1976. Propelled by hit singles like "Magic Man" and "Crazy on You" the album rose as high as #7 on the chart. The band followed with another top ten album a year later with "Little Queen". Two more albums would follow in the 1970s and Heart was primed to rule the next decade.
Unfortunately the band fell victim to the usual trappings of that era, namely personnel changes and tons of cocaine. It would take a few years for Heart to rebound but they came roaring back in 1985 with the album "Heart". Now, this album is hot garbage, but it perfectly encapsulated the zeitgeist of the time - big hair, big guitars, big synthesizers. Of course, this crappy record became the band's only #1 album and sold over 5 million copies. Go figure.
Nancy would continue to perform with Heart as well as in an acoustic group with her sister called The Lovemongers. She has also kept busy scoring music for her husband Cameron Crowe's films. She remains widely respected in the rock and roll scene. And with a legacy that includes over 30 million albums sold, twenty top-40 singles, and seven top ten albums across four different decades (70s, 80s, 90s, 2010s) it's easy to see why.