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Nanette Workman (born 20 November 1945 in Brooklyn, New York) is today a singer-songwriter, actress and author, who has been based in Quebec, Canada during much of her career. She holds dual citizenship in both the United States and Canada. She was raised by musician parents in Jackson, Mississippi where she began her first performances. She mainly performs in French although raised as a native English speaker. During her career she has recorded together with numerous well-known musicians in the U.S., Canada, England, and France and been recognized in Mississippi both by being elected to that state's Musicians Hall of Fame and having a Francophone house named after her at the state university.
Nanette Joan Workman was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 20, 1945, to musician parents. Her mother, Beatryce Kreisman, was in the chorus of Naughty Marietta with the New York City Opera Company, and her father, Ernest Workman, played trumpet in Tommy Dorsey's orchestra. She grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. As a child she studied piano and began her career at 11, appearing in the local WLBT television series Mr. Magic (later Junior Time) until she was given her own weekly show, Teen Tempos.
She graduated from Provine High School then attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg leaving college at 18 for Broadway.
After understudying the lead of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, she played the role of Rosemary in 1964 and later played the lead in summer stock. In 1966 Workman met Tony Roman and recorded her first French single, "Et Maintenant", for him in Canada, where the song remained on the charts for fifteen weeks after becoming number one. Over the next two years she became a Canadian recording and TV star finally hosting Fleurs D'Amours et Fleurs d'Amitie. Then in 1969 Workman moved to England where she appeared weekly on Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's comedy series Not Only... But Also]. Credited as Nanette Newman, Workman sang backup vocals on "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Country Honk", tracks from the The Rolling Stones' 1969 album Let it Bleed, as well as on the Stones' 1969 single, "Honky Tonk Woman". She also worked with John Lennon and Elton John. In addition, she appeared in one of the black-and-white episodes of The Benny Hill Show (appearing as Nanette), performing "Everybody's Singing Like Now" on the February 24, 1971 edition.
Workman toured France in 1973 as an opening act for Johnny Hallyday. She made three albums with Yves Martin touring Africa, Polynesia and Europe prior to coming back to Quebec in 1974 where she recorded several more French albums. Lady Marmalade, Danser Danser, and especially Call Girl (by Luc Plamondon) placed first on the hit parades. Returning to France in 1978, she starred in the Rock Opera Starmania as Sadia. In 1979 she sang backs in the Mahogany Rush song "Sister Change" ("Tales of an Unexpected" album). In 1980 she made an album Chaude in collaboration with her brother Billy Workman and Luc Plamondon and toured Quebec with the show Du gramophone au laser which recounted the history of the Québécois chanson. In 1990 she returned to Paris to become La Diva in Plamondon-Berger's second rock opera, La Légende de Jimmy, based on the life of James Dean.
In April 2000 Nanette Workman was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. Roots N Blues, another album in English, was released in May 2001. In 2001 she also appeared in a Radio-Canada television series, Rivière-des-Jérémie, and was the hostess for thirteen episodes of Generation 70.
In 2007, she was recognized by the State of Mississippi when Governor Haley Barbour honored her at the opening of The Nanette Workman French (Francophone) House on the Mississippi State University campus. The NWFH houses American and French-speaking students from around the world as an upper-classman residence.