Natalie Cole: her voice was unforgettable, her lineage is incredible and her legacy is undeniable.
Cole, who had struggled with a variety of health issues in recent years, died Thursday, December 31, 2015 night, according to publicist Maureen O’Connor. The cause of death was reportedly congestive heart failure.
A physically weakened Cole, winner of nine Grammy Awards, was forced to cancel a string of concert performances over the last three months after a recurrence of hepatitis C linked to her earlier drug abuse.
“Natalie fought a 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.
The daughter of music icon Nat (King) Cole scored a huge 1991 hit with “Unforgettable” — a virtual duet with her late father.
The album “Unforgettable … With Love” spent five weeks at No. 1 on the pop charts, sold more than 14 million copies worldwide and won six Grammy Awards.
Before the hits we know her for now, her career actually exploded back in 1975 with a debut album that included the massive hit single “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and a pair of Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Performance.
But at the 2016 Grammy Awards, the organization failed to acknowledge her or her contribution to music.
We stand here saying that Natalie’s contribution to music is and will forever be unforgettable and irreplaceable.
At age six, Cole recorded a duet with her father, I’m Good Will, You’re Christmas Spirit. By age 11, she was performing alongside him on his television show.
When Cole was 15, and attending boarding school across the country, her father died of lung cancer. Even though she grew up without her father’s guidance, Cole never abandoned music. She studied Psychology in college at the University of Massachusetts and sang in clubs on weekends, where she was billed as Nat King Cole’s daughter. But she soon was to make a name for herself.
Cole initially struggled with success, battling a devastating cocaine addiction until her manager sent her…