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Sample Autograph Signature: Connie Francis

American rock 'n' roll singer, actress and author. Born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero in Newark, New Jersey in 1938, she is best known for her 1957 hit Who's Sorry Now? which launched her into international super-stardom. She learned to play the accordion at the age of three, performed on Arthur Godfrey's talent show at 11, and spent 4 years thereafter on the television variety show Startime before making her first recording for MGM at 16. It was Arthur Godfrey who suggested she change her name, and Startime's producer who advised her to forget the accordion and concentrate on singing. She signed a recording contract with MGM after being rejected by other record labels and recorded a series of flop singles. In late 1957, she accepted a pre-med scholarship to New York University and considered ending her singing career. At her last recording session her father insisted she sing that old tune from 1923 - and the rest is history. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, she was the top female vocalist, probably the most prolific female hit-maker in the pop song genre. She recorded a total of 35 songs that placed in the top forty between 1958 and 1964. She made her first film appearance in Where the Boys Are, a 1960 motion picture based on her signature song by the same name. She starred in three additional films in the first half of the 1960s. In the late 1960s, her super-stardoom faded and she began working in nightclubs, doing charity work, and extending her repertoire. Francis ended her 12 year relationship with MGM, and her recording career, in 1969 in favor of a domestic life with her third husband, but returned to recording in 1973 with The Answer, a song written by friends just for her. She resumed her career until 1973 when she was raped and again ended her career to undergo psychiatric treatment. By 1981 she had resumed performing in public when her brother was brutally murdered. Francis was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 1988. Treatment with lithium enabled her to resumed her career and she returned to doing stage performances in 1989, but by 1991 she was having trouble speaking and collapsed on stage a year later. After drastically reducing her lithium dose, she continued to perform live and released several major albums in the late 1990s after signing a new recording contract with Sony in 1993. Francis wrote an autobiography published in 1984 titled, of course, Who's Sorry Now?.

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