LOS ANGELES (United States) – Natalie Cole, the Grammy-winning whose father was an iconic jazz singer ‘Nat’ Cole, passed away in a Los Angeles hospital on Thursday night due to complications from ongoing health issues.
The singer had battled drug problems and hepatitis for many years. She had a kidney transplant in May 2009.
Cole was inspired by her dad at an early age and auditioned to sing with him when she was just 11 years old. She was 15 when he died of lung cancer, in 1965.
“Natalie fought fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived … with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever,” read the statement from her son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole.
While Cole was a Grammy winner in her own right, she had her greatest success in 1991 when she re-recorded her father’s classic hits — with him on the track — for the album “Unforgettable … With Love”. It became a multi-platinum smash and garnered her multiple Grammy Awards, including album of the year.
Singer Tony Bennett saying on Instagram he was “deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Natalie Cole, as I have cherished the long friendship I had with her, her father Nat, and the family over the years”.
Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences said, “We’ve lost a wonderful, highly cherished artist and our heartfelt condolences go out to Natalie’s family, friends, her many collaborators, as well as to all who have been entertained by her exceptional talent.”
The comedian Arsenio Hall said he named his bass guitar after her when he was in college. “As a young stand-up comic I opened for Natalie Cole. She was all that, in all ways!”
Cole’s greatest success came with her 1991 album, ‘Unforgettable … With Love,’ which paid tribute to her father with reworked versions of some of his best known songs, including ‘That Sunday That Summer,’ ‘Too Young’ and ‘Mona Lisa.’
The album sold some 14 million copies and won six Grammy’s, including album of the year as well record and song of the year for the title track duet.
She was also nominated for an Emmy award in 1992 for a televised performance of her father’s songs.
She also worked as an actress, with appearances on TV’s ‘Touched by an Angel” and “Grey’s Anatomy.’