Frank Sinatra Jr., who emerged from his legendary father’s shadow to achieve his own successful music career, has died. He was 72 years old.
According to a statement released by his family, Sinatra died unexpectedly Wednesday of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The son of Frank Sinatra, and young brother of Nancy Sinatra, Frank Jr. was encouraged at a young age to pursue music. By his early teens, he was performing in clubs in and around his hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey.
On December 8th, 1963, at the age of 19, Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped while in Lake Tahoe. He was released two days later after his father agreed to pay a $240,000 ransom. The kidnappers were later captured and sentenced to prison. Some have alleged that the kidnapping was a publicity ploy to generate interest in Sinatra Jr.’s music career, though the singer denied this.
Throughout the 1960s, Sinatra Jr. toured the world extensively, playing gigs in over 30 countries. The following decade saw the release of several albums, and he also dabbled in acting with roles on The Dean Martin Show, The Love Boat, and Adam-12.
In the latter years of his father’s life, the two collaborated on several occasions. Beginning in 1988, Sinatra Jr. served as his father’s musical director and conductor. Six years later, he joined his father for a song on what would be Sinatra Sr.’s final album, Duets II.
Sinatra Jr. was also known for frequently singing the Star Spangled Banner and his father’s song, “New York, New York” at New York Yankees baseball games.