Natalie Cole Dies at 65, R&B & Hip-Hop Community React
The year 2016 is starting off on a very sad note. Legendary songbird Natalie Cole, the daughter of soul icon Nat King Cole, has passed away at the age of 65. Her publicist, Maureen O’Connor, said the singer died on Thursday (Dec. 31).
Cole’s immediate family also confirmed that the singer passed away from ongoing health complications on Thursday in Los Angeles at Cedar Sinai Hospital.
“Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived … with dignity, strength and honor,” reads a statement from her son, Robert Yancy, and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole (via Essence.com). “Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever.”
Cole is a nine-time Grammy winner whose indelible music career expands four decades. The chanteuse will most likely be remembered for her 1991 Grammy-winning album, Unforgettable: With Love, which sold 6 million copies. The collection features her loving duet with her late father’s voice on “Unforgettable.” Cole later followed that with another posthumous duet with her father with “When I Fall in Love.”
Among Cole’s multiple hits include “This Will Be,” “Our Love,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “I’ve Got Love on My Mind” and a Bruce Springsteen cover of “Pink Cadillac.”
Cole’s career was derailed in the mid-70s and ’80s by her addiction to heroin before she successfully completed rehab in 1983. After recovering from drug addiction, Cole was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2008. She continued to perform despite her declining health which was tied to kidney disease. While dealing with her medical issues, Cole was helping her sister, Cookie, battle cancer. Her sister died the morning Cole got a successful kidney transplant in May 2009.
In 2013, Cole released her final album, which was recorded in Spanish, titled Natalie Cole en Espanol.
Upon hearing the news of Natalie Cole’s death rappers and singers went on social media to express their condolences.
“I am so sad to hear about Natalie Cole’s passing. I feel she has always been apart of my life in many ways,” said Jordin Sparks on Instagram. I’m sure the heavens are absolutely loving you and your dad rejoicing together. ‘Unforgettable in every way….’ That you are, Natalie, that you are.”
“R.I.P. to the legend Natalie Cole!!! You are appreciated and will never be forgotten….#LOVE,” tweeted Young Money president Mack Maine.
We want to send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Natalie Cole. She is truly unforgettable. May she rest soulfully in peace.
So sad to hear about Natalie Cole. #Unforgettable
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) January 1, 2016
— Dianne Reeves (@DianneReeves1) January 1, 2016
R.I.P. Ms Natalie Cole
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) January 1, 2016
Sending prayers and condolences to all the loved ones of my friend #NatalieCole! She will be truly missed but her light will shine forever!
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) January 1, 2016
Wow rest in peace Natalie Cole.
— Emilio Rojas (@emiliorojas) January 1, 2016
Oh no.,,Natalie Cole has passed.,My heart is broken :(((((((
— Stacy Lattisaw (@StacyLattisaw) January 1, 2016
R.I.P. to the legend Natalie Cole!!! You are appreciated and will never be forgotten….#LOVE
— Mack Maine (@mackmaine) January 1, 2016
My dear friend has passed away. Heaven is rejoicing. "Unforgettable, that's what you are " Ms Natalie Cole pic.twitter.com/GkW98A0xyN
— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) January 1, 2016
I'm saddened to hear about the loss of Natalie Cole. Just an amazing talent whose voice will be greatly missed. RIP pic.twitter.com/S3ZoILZZid
— Lenny Williams (@LennyWilliams) January 1, 2016
Life is so short and you can't get back time wasted.. Rest in Peace Natalie Cole.
— Gangsta Boo 1999 (@GangstaBooQOM) January 1, 2016
Just got the news that Natalie Cole passed away. Fucking heartbreaking R.I.P.
— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) January 1, 2016
rest in paradise natalie cole
— atmosphere (@atmosphere) January 1, 2016
I am so sad to hear about Natalie Cole's passing. I feel she has always been apart of my life in many ways. Before the craziness & now. Her father, Nat King Cole, is my favorite artist of all time. 'Smile' is a song I sing to myself whenever things get overwhelming. I sang 'This Will Be' on the American Idol tour w/ @mdoolittle, my favorite part of that show. A few years later, I had the honor of actually singing it with her on stage. I don't remember what I sounded like, I was too much in awe of her. But, I sure remember her standing next to me, voice so pure & clear as a bell. I will never ever forget that moment. She was always so kind & exuded so much grace. Rest in everlasting love. I'm sure the heavens are absolutely loving you and your dad rejoicing together. 'Unforgettable in every way….' That you are, Natalie, that you are.❤️
I am 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. Natalie was an exceptional jazz singer and it was an honor to have recorded and performed with her on several occasions. She was a lovely and generous person who will be greatly missed.