Nancy Gilliam's literary and media career spans six decades. She made her unofficial stage debut during the curtain call of the 1967 Broadway production of Hello Dolly featuring Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway and Morgan Freeman when her father placed her on stage to say hello to Ms. Bailey. This story, It Was Magic is included in Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul, the longest running anthology in literary history according to the Guinness World Book of Records. Her official stage debut was in the Joseph Papp NY Shakespeare Festival production of The Wedding Band with Ruby Dee, preceded by her television debut on Wonderama & followed by her motion picture debut in Fame. Her performance as Chelle in the 2017 Philadelphia premiere of Dominique Morrisseau’s Detroit ’67 earned her a Best Actress nomination from Broadway World.
In music, she has charted on Billboard, BEAT100 (UK) & Jackie Vibes Radio (Canada) and others as a writer and an artist. Her first hit, Take a Chance by Nuance featuring Vikki Love, a collaboration with Ron Dean Miller (Pet Shop Boys) topped the Billboard Dance charts. Their next collaboration, Stop Playing on Me was picked up by NBC TV as the theme for The Gloating Place, an episode of the 1980’s remake of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Her first #1 as an artist was the Neo Soul anthem, Sunny Days (JVR). Other musical credits include background vocals on The Wiz soundtrack (MGM), Finally (Calvin Carr) & The Light (ABC TV) as well as doing composing/toplining for The Gate Called Straight (the gospel adaptation of The Wiz) BORN, and The Shoeshine Box. She has produced and directed several music videos including Fuss and Fight by Tomi, I.C.U. by Fresh Band featuring Tony Mack and By Your Side by Mack & Gibbs.
Her literary credits include contributions to six titles in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series including the N.Y. Times Best Seller & 2004 Black Book Award Winner for Non-Fiction, Chicken Soup for the African American Soul, Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul, for which she served as Special Projects Manager under Lisa Nichols, and the 2021 release, Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now with Breena Clark. She was selected from an elite group of educators nationwide to create the companion study guide for the book, Lebron James: King if the Court for which she also wrote the introduction. She is a contributor to The Hustler's Ten Commandments by Hotep and Blacks Behind the Scenes in Film and Television by Dr. Eleanor Earl and veteran producer, Monty Ross. Her story, There Will Be No Graduation was featured in the Billie Holiday virtual production, 50in50: Love in the Time of Corona and read by Lanman Rucker. She self-published two children’s books, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You and I Can’t Play Basketball, I’m Only Four Feet Tall. Most recently, she penned the introduction to her daughter, Alyia Wyatte’s first book of poetry, The Stories My Heart Never Told.
She has shared her wealth of experience as both a speaker and a planner at conferences and festivals across the country including The African American Literary & Media Conference in Reno, Nevada, The Philadelphia Black Film & Media Conference, The SOL Film Festival in Norfolk, Virginia, The Brother 2 Brother Literary Symposium in Houston, Texas, The Boynton Beach Arts Explosion, and The South Florida Youth in Film Festival. She returned to her alma mater to conduct writing workshops and as a guest speaker for the Drama Department's Senior Seminar in 2005 and 2006 at The Fiorello H. LaGuardia School of the Arts.
She is a Board Member of the award winning Non-Profit, The Evoluer House, for which she produces the internationally acclaimed podcast, Girl Truth: What Lens Are You Looking Through?
She considers her greatest achievement to be her seven children and nine grandchildren.