Natalie Cole, ‘sister beloved’, takes final bow

Natalie Cole, ‘sister beloved’, takes final bow

Friday, January 1, 2016 10:13 pm

Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole

Multi- Grammy award winner Natalie Maria Cole died on New Year’s Eve Thursday at age 65, Los Angeles media reported Friday.

She died in a Los Angeles hospital, after long standing health issues including complications arising from kidney transplant and hepatitis C.

Weak health forced Cole, who followed her father, jazz great Nat King Cole, into the music business, to cancel concert performances over the last three months after a recurrence of hepatitis C linked to her earlier drug abuse.

Cole, as a singer, song writer and performer left the world beautiful songs like “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) and “Unforgettable.”

“Natalie Cole, sister beloved & of substance and sound. May her soul rest in peace,” tweeted the Rev. Jesse Jackson on New Year’s Day.

“Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived — with dignity, strength and honor,” her family said in a statement.

Natalie Cole with one of her nine Grammy awards

Natalie Cole with one of her nine Grammy awards

Quoting her most identifiable song, the family said: “Our beloved mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever.”

In contrast to the rags-to-riches stories of many other artists of her generation, Cole was raised in relative affluence in Los Angeles.

Listen to Natalie sing Unforgettable Here:

Her career was inextricably linked to that of her father.

She had her first break singing in clubs as the daughter of Nat “King” Cole, but struggled to find her niche as she chose a sound far more modern than her father’s standards.

After delving into R&B, soul and pop, Cole achieved her greatest success in 1991 by returning to some of the classics sung by her father.

Her album, “Unforgettable… With Love,” won the Grammy for Album of the Year and has sold more than seven million copies in the United States.

Cole first made a name for herself in 1975 with the debut song “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and the album and song “Inseparable.”

The hits helped Cole win the prestigious Grammy for Best New Artist, one of a total of nine Grammys she earned throughout her career.

“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,” said a statement from the Recording Academy, which administers the Grammys.

Cole late in her life pursued a career in acting, appearing in several prime-time US series. But her life was marred by personal woes including drug use and three divorces.

Cole’s final album, in 2008, was entitled “Still Unforgettable” and expanded on the theme of her 1991 work by adapting classic American tunes in addition to those of her father.

When recording the album, which won two Grammys, Cole was found during a routine blood test to have Hepatitis C — a liver virus that she presumably contracted as a result of her past drug use.

In an interview at the time with People magazine, Cole said of the diagnosis: “My life crumbled before my eyes.”

Cole eventually became active in raising awareness of Hepatitis C. And, she said in the interview, she still wished her father could see her.

“That’s the hardest part of this. I think of him every time I sing,” she said.

*Reported by Xinhua and AFP

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