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Connie Francis (born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero; December 12, 1938) is an American pop singer, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1950s and 1960s. She is best known for her downbeat ballads delivered in her trademark sobbing, emotive style. In addition to her signature song, "Who's Sorry Now?", her many hits include "Lipstick on Your Collar", "Where the Boys Are", and "Stupid Cupid". She topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on three occasions with "Everybody's Somebody's Fool", "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own" and "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You". She also was known for her early relationship with the singer and teen heart-throb Bobby Darin.

Francis was born in the Italian Down Neck, or Ironbound, neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey. She attended Newark Arts High School in 1951 and 1952. She and her family moved to Belleville, New Jersey, where she graduated 'Salutatorian' from the Belleville High School Class of 1955. Following her appearance on the Arthur Godfrey show (singing "Daddy's Little Girl"), Connie was advised to change her name from Franconero to something more easily pronounceable and to drop the accordion that was part of her act. Then in her 1952 appearance on Battle of the Ages she is introduced as "13-year-old Connie Francis." There she sang "Wheel of Fortune." The story goes that every record label she had tried had turned her down. Finally, even when MGM decided to take her, it was basically because the track she wanted to record, "Freddy," happened to be the name of the son of a company executive. Francis' first single, "Freddy," (1955) and her next nine singles were commercial failures.

Early in her career, Francis was introduced to Bobby Darin, then an up-and-coming singer and songwriter. Darin's manager arranged for him to help write several songs for her. Despite some disagreement about material, after several weeks Darin and Francis developed a romantic relationship. Francis' strict Italian father would separate the couple whenever possible. When her father learned that Bobby Darin had suggested the two lovers elope after one of her shows, he ran Darin out of the building at gunpoint, telling Bobby to never see his daughter again. Francis saw Darin only two more times - once when the two were scheduled to sing together for a television show, and again when Francis was spotlighted on the TV series This Is Your Life. By the latter's taping, Bobby Darin had married actress Sandra Dee. In her autobiography Francis says she and her father were driving into the Lincoln Tunnel when the radio DJ announced Darin's and Dee's marriage. Her father made a negative comment about Bobby finally being out of their lives. Angered, Francis wrote, she hoped the Hudson River would fill the Lincoln Tunnel, killing both herself and her father; she later wrote that not marrying Darin was the biggest mistake of her life.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Connie Francis."
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