Nancy LaMott (December 30, 1951 in Midland, Michigan–December 13, 1995 in New York City) was a singer, popular on the New York City cabaret circuit in the 1990s. LaMott performed twice at the White House for President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. In 2008, her posthumously-released album Ask Me Again, featuring songs she recorded between 1988 and 1995, reached #12 on Billboard magazine's Top Jazz Albums chart. She sang with a "sweet-voiced cabaret-style singing" described as "gentle" with a "1940s style" which won a tight circle of admirers and almost a "cult following". Her life was tragically cut short by uterine cancer in 1995 when she began to achieve commercial and critical success.
As a young girl, LaMott would sing along with Barbra Streisand records, according to her father, a supervisor with the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. At fifteen, she performed with her father's dance band, and also worked at a local Sears store. At seventeen, she was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an incurable medical affliction which involves difficult intestinal problems and chronic pain and arthritis.
LaMott moved to San Francisco. Her early years in San Francisco became a pattern of singing gigs and hospital visits, running up medical debts and taking any jobs to pay the rent. She suffered through with the help of painkillers, stomach remedies and steroids, and sometimes had to perform sitting to work against spasms caused by the disease. She struggled for twenty-five years to achieve recognition and success in the music business. She moved to New York City in 1979.
She was described as having an "all-American prettiness" which gave her a "vulnerable, doll-like demeanor" as she developed her singing style. She was named the "best cabaret singer" by New York Magazine. She performed at the White House for Bill and Hillary Clinton. In 1993, she underwent an ileostomy operation to remove a large portion of the third part of her small intestine; this operation dramatically improved her health. In the same year, she won the MAC Award for Outstanding Female Vocalist. In March 1995, LaMott was diagnosed with uterine cancer, yet she postponed a hysterectomy in order to record Listen To My Heart, an album that took only a remarkable two days to complete. The operation revealed that the cancer had metastasized. Her last public performance was on December 4, 1995, at one of the radio station WQEW's live performances. On that same day, she made her last TV appearance on CNBC's The Charles Grodin Show, singing Moon River. According to conductor and composer David Friedman, who wrote many of the songs which she performed, LaMott's life featured two threads: her illness and her talent, and the "two things peaked at exactly the same time." On December 13, 1995, Father Steven Harris blessed the union of Nancy to Peter Zapp, a little more than an hour before she died. She died at 11:40 PM EST, at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, of uterine cancer.
- Lifetime Achievement Award - Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC), April 1996
- Entertainer of the Year 1996 - the Cabaret Hotline Critic's Choice
Composer David Friedman produced her eight albums and a feature DVD under MIDDER Music label.
- Beautiful Baby (1991; MMCD001)
- Come Rain or Come Shine (1992; MMCD002)
- My Foolish Heart (1993; MMCD003)
- Just in Time for Christmas (1994; MMCD004)
- Listen to My Heart (1995; MMCD005)
- What's Good about Goodbye? (1996; MMCD006)
- Live at Tavern on the Green (2005; MMCD007)
- Ask Me Again (2008; MMCD008, 2-CD set)
- I'll Be Here With You (2008; DVD)
- The Don't Tell Mama Shows (2010; MMDVD102)
- Morris B. Holbrook (1998). "The Dangers of Educational and Cultural Populism: Three Vignettes on the Problems of Aesthetic Insensitivity, the Pitfalls of Pandering, and the Virtues of Artistic Integrity". Journal of Consumer Affairs 32.
- Nancy LaMott at AllMusic - Bio by Michael G. Nastos
- Nancy LaMott at AllMusic - Nancy LaMott - Ask Me Again Album Data and Chart Position
- Goldberg, Carey (January 14, 1996). "Three Women and Their Journeys in Song;A Sweet, Songful Life Lost As It Was About to Start". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
- Stephen Holden (1995-12-16). "Nancy LaMott, 43, Pop Singer Of a Clear, All-American Style". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- Carey Goldberg (1996-01-14). "POP MUSIC: Three Women and Their Journeys in Song;A Sweet, Songful Life Lost As It Was About to Start". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- Wayman Wong (1995-12-15). "Feted Cabaret Star Nancy Lamott Dies". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- Wong, Wayman (6 March 1996). "MAC LOVES LOTS OF LAMOTT LATE SINGER SCORES TOP NOMINATIONS FOR 10TH CABARET AWARDS". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- "MAC AWARDS PAST WINNERS 2007". The Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs. Retrieved May 31, 2009.[dead link]
- Stu Hamstra's Cabaret Hotline