Frank Sinatra Jr. dies in Daytona hospital
Singer was here to celebrate father's legacy in concert
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
By Suzanne Hirt
March 16, 2016
Frank Sinatra Jr., who was in town to perform his father's famous songs and provide an unvarnished look at his life, died on Wednesday in a Daytona Beach hospital.
Helen Riger, the city's cultural services and community events director, said Wednesday night that Sinatra Jr. died earlier in the day at Halifax Health Medical Center.
"He's been in town two or three days," Riger said. Multiple sources told The News-Journal he died of a massive heart attack.
The Sinatra family confirmed in a statement to The Associated Press that Sinatra Jr. died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach.
The statement said the family mourns the untimely passing of their son, brother, father and uncle. No other details were provided.
Earlier Wednesday, Peabody Auditorium officials had announced Sinatra Jr.'s concert scheduled for Wednesday night was canceled after the 72-year-old singer fell ill.
"Sinatra Sings Sinatra" was to be a centennial celebration of Sinatra Jr.'s father's life and music that illuminated the man behind the myth.
Kidnapped and held for ransom when he was 19, Sinatra Jr. had already followed his dad into the music business by then. He eventually worked for his father as his musical director and conductor. He performed the National Anthem at a New York Yankees game last year.
In his last interview, he recently told The News-Journal that he'd never felt shortchanged or bitter about his career never reaching the level his father's did.
“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," Sinatra Jr. said. "I was trying to sell antiques in a modern appliance store."
He said that in the 1990s when his father's health began to decline, what Sinatra held onto was his love of his audience, “and that kept him alive.”
“That honest to goodness kept him going," Sinatra Jr. said, "and I have said my philosophy — I'm a backyard philosopher, I guess — is that the dirtiest word in the English language is 'retirement.' ”
The last time Sinatra Jr. was in Daytona Beach was in 1994 in the capacity as the director of his father's show.
Frank Sinatra died in 1998 from a severe heart attack.
SINATRA Jr., Frank (Francis Wayne Sinatra)
Born: 1/10/1944, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 3/16/2016, Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.A.
Frank Sinatra Jr.’s western – actor:
Alias Smith and Jones (TV) – 1972 (Deputy Wermser)