Frank Sinatra Jr. Dies of Cardiac Arrest at 72
The son of the legendary star died of a heart attack
Frank Sinatra Jr., who not only carried his father’s name but his musical legacy as well, has died, his family has announced. He was 72.
In a statement to the Associated Press, the family said that the musician died unexpectedly on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack while touring in Daytona Beach, Florida.
“The Sinatra family mourn the untimely passing of their son, brother, father, uncle, Frank Sinatra, Jr. of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona, Florida. January 10, 1944 – March 16, 2016,” a post on sister Nancy Sinatra’s Facebook page read. “Sleep warm, Frankie…”
At 19, Sinatra was the target of a kidnapping plot carried out by Barry Keenan – who attended school with his sister Nancy – and Johnny Irwin and Joe Amsler. On Dec. 8, 1963, Sinatra was abducted at gunpoint from his Nevada hotel room. The ordeal ended once his father paid a $240,000 ransom.
Sinatra released seven albums during his life, and appeared on multiple TV shows, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and The Dean Martin Show.
He also collaborated with Frank Sr., recording “Chicago” for his father’s 1993 album Duets. “It was the wrong thing to do,” he told PEOPLE in 2013.
He continued: “The premise of the Duets album was to have Frank Sinatra sing with young artists who were big successful record sellers. I never was. It was nothing but nepotism and it always embarrassed me. I did not belong on those records. I was delighted to do it, but I didn’t belong there.”
Speaking to PEOPLE, Jacksonville University music professor Tony Steve – who was touring with Sinatra at the time of his death – highlighted his musical skills and warm personality.
“He was a really nice guy and an all-around solid musician,” said Steve. “He knew all the details of everything that has happening and being played. He had a reverence for the music that is such an important part of American pop and the [Great] American Songbook.
• Reporting by SCOTT HUVER and DEVAN LESLEY