Best known as the daughter of Nat King Cole, and for producing a string of hits in her own right in the 80s and early 90s, Singer Natalie Cole has died aged 65.
TMZ reported that Natalie passed away in a Los Angeles hospital from congestive heart failure. Natalie had been battling other health issues including complications from a 2009 kidney transplant.
Her publicist Maureen O’Connor later confirmed Natalie’s death to CNN, saying she died on December 31.
“It is with heavy hearts that we bring to you all the news of our Mother and sister’s passing”, her son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole said in a statement.
“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”.
Natalie won nine Grammy awards in a career spanning 40 years, after following her father Nat King Cole into the music business.
The singer had recently cancelled a string of tour dates planned for December – including a New Year’s Eve show at Disney Hall in Los Angeles – after falling ill at the end of 2015.
As well as performing with her famous father, Natalie was well known for hits including Pink Cadillac – which peaked at number five in 1988 – and 1975 classic This Will Be (An Everlasting Love).
Her biggest UK hit was the 1989 ballad Miss You Like Crazy, which reached number two in the charts – while she scored a top 20 single with Wild Women Do from the soundtrack of Pretty Woman.
The music industry mourned Cole’s death, from top executives to stars from her father’s era to stars of her own era.
Tony Bennet posted a picture of himself and Natalie on his Instagram with a caption that read:
“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”.
US civil rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson was among the first to tweet his condolences: “#NatalieCole, sister beloved & of substance and sound. May her soul rest in peace. #Inseparable”.
The singer’s battle with drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine, was charted in her 2000 autobiography Angel on my Shoulder.
Having undergone a successful kidney transplant in 2009 – after being inundated with offers of kidneys from fans – she continued to tour and make public appearances on TV shows, including American Idol.
“I am a walking testimony to you can have scars”, she told People magazine. “You can go through turbulent times and still have victory in your life”.
Natalie was married three times, and had one son.