Natalie Cole, the Grammy award-winning American singer known for R&B hits like “This Will Be” and “Our Love,” has died. She was 65.
Cole died Thursday night at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles of “complications from ongoing health issues,” according to a statement from her family.
“Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived ... with dignity, strength and honor,” her sisters, Timolin Cole and Casey Cole, and son, Robert Yancy, said in a statement Friday. “Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever.”
In her decades-long career, Cole followed in the footsteps of her famous father, Nat King Cole, who died of cancer in 1965 when his daughter was 15 years old. When Cole was young, her father, already a star when Cole was born in 1950, would bring home a variety of records for her and her siblings. “There was always music playing at our house in one room or another,” Cole wrote in her 2000 memoir, Angel on My Shoulder.
Cole started singing at music clubs while in college at the University of Massachusetts. Her debut album, Inseparable, released in 1975, earned Cole her first two of nine Grammy awards. It was an instant success, and Cole went on to release more than 20 albums, including her best-selling Unforgettable … With Love, a 1991 collection of Cole singing her father’s classic songs.