Frank Sinatra Jr. is dead at 72. The son of the famous crooner unexpectedly passed away of a heart attack yesterday. He was in Daytona to perform a show on Wednesday evening, but died suddenly early in the afternoon. The elder Sinatra also passed away of a heart attack when he was 82-years-old, in 1998.
Early Wednesday afternoon, Frank Sinatra Jr. began feeling very light-headed and cancelled the show. He was admitted to the Halifax Medical Center, but then started to feel better. He later went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived, according to a TMZ report.
“Sleep warm, Frankie,” sister Nancy Sinatra posted to Facebook after the announcement that Frank Sinatra Jr. had passed, became public. A statement released by the family said only that the singer’s family is mourning the passing of their beloved father, son, brother, and uncle.
Frank Sinatra Jr. followed in his father’s enormous footsteps and launched a singing career during his late teen years. When he was only 19, he was kidnapped and held for ransom inside a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 1963. Although the claims that Frank Jr. had orchestrated the kidnapping to give a boost to his fledgling singing career were unfounded, they still haunted the talented musician for many years.
Frank Sinatra negotiated directly with the kidnappers for his son’s release, willing to pay any amount of money to have his namesake safely returned. At one point during the horrific ordeal, Sinatra ran out of money at a payphone he was designated to use by the men holding his son. The terror he felt when he temporarily lost contact with the men prompted him to carry a roll of dimes in his pocket for the rest of his life. Before he was buried, his roll of dimes was placed inside the casket with him, the Daily Mail reports.
Frank Sinatra Jr. spent many years working as both a musical director and conductor for his father. Last year, he sang the National Anthem at a New York Yankees game in front of a cheering audience.
During an interview with the Daytona-based News-Journal, Sinatra referred to retirement as a “dirty word.”
“I think in my generation, when I came along in the early ’60s, the type of music that was in vogue in society in those days had moved on to another kind of music. I was trying to sell antiques in a modern appliance store,” Frank Sinatra Jr. said.
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The singer also recalled that when his dad’s health started to decline in the 1990s, the joy of performing and love of the audience “kept him alive.”
“That honest to goodness kept him going, and I have said my philosophy — I’m a backyard philosopher, I guess — is that the dirtiest word in the English language is ‘retirement,’ ” Frank Jr. said.
Frank Sinatra’s son toured the world as a performer for more than five decades. During the past 20 years, he has focused on “Sinatra Sings Sinatra” shows, where he sings some classic hits from his father’s songbook.
Francis Wayne Sinatra Jr. was born on January 10, 1944, in Jersey City, New Jersey, IMDb reports. in addition to performing as a singer, Frank Jr. was also an actor. He appeared in Cool World in 1992, Movin’ with Nancy in 1968, and in Hollywood Homicide in 2003.
Frank Sinatra Jr. was previously married to Cynthia McMurrey. He has one son, Michael Sinatra.
[Photo by AP Photo]