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Singer Natalie Cole dead at 65

Obit: R&B Singer Natalie Cole Dies at 65

The singer, and Daughter of Nat King Cole, whose hits included “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and “Unforgettable,” died at a Los Angeles hospital, reports say. She had dealt with multiple health issues in the past six years.

by Matthew Taylor, Martin Pengelly

Natalie Cole, the award-winning singer and daughter of jazz legend Nat “King” Cole, has died.

Cole, whose hits included This Will Be and Unforgettable, died aged 65 on Thursday night, according to her publicist Maureen O’Connor.

Her family said she died at Cedars-Sinai medical centre in Los Angeles due to complications from ongoing health issues.

“Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived … with dignity, strength and honour. 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 singer had battled drug problems and hepatitis for many years. She had a kidney transplant in May 2009.

Nat King Cole and Daughter Natalie in 1956
Nat “King” Cole and Natalie singing together in 1956. Photograph: Bettmann/CORBIS

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.

Her voice was spliced with her father’s in the title track, offering a delicate duet more than 25 years after his death. The album sold about 14m copies and won six Grammys, including album of the year, and record and song of the year for the title track.

While making the album, Cole said she had to “throw out every R&B lick that I had ever learned and every pop trick I had ever learned. With him, the music was in the background and the voice was in the front.”

Cole was also nominated for an Emmy award in 1992 for a televised performance of her father’s songs. “That was really my thank you,” she said in 2006. “I owed that to him.”

Another father-daughter duet, When I Fall in Love, won a Grammy in 1996 for best pop collaboration with vocals, and a follow-up album, Still Unforgettable, won for best traditional pop vocal album of 2008.

Born in Los Angeles to Nat King Cole, who was already a well-known singer, and former Duke Ellington Orchestra singer Maria Hawkins Ellington, Cole was exposed to some of the greats of US soul music. By the age of six, she sang on her father’s Christmas album and by 11 was performing in her own right.

Source: The Guardian