Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Cole was the daughter of American singer and jazz pianist Nat King Cole. She rose to success in the mid-1970s as an R&B singer with the hits “This Will Be”, “Inseparable” (1975), and “Our Love” (1977). She returned as a pop singer on the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac”. In the 1990s, she sang traditional pop by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable… with Love, which sold over seven million copies and won her seven Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide.
Cole canceled several events in December 2015 due to illness. It was reported on January 1, 2016, that she had died the day prior at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Her family stated that at the time of her death, Cole had “ongoing health issues”. According to Cole’s publicist, Maureen O’Connor, the singer’s death was the result of congestive heart failure. Cole’s last musical performance was a short set of three songs in Manila.
In official news on her cause of death, her family stated that Cole was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension after her kidney transplant in 2009.
Cole’s son, along with her sisters, offered the following comment. “Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived… with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain unforgettable in our hearts forever.”
Cole’s funeral was held on January 11, 2016, at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles. David Foster, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Eddie Levert, Mary Wilson, Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Jesse Jackson, Angela Bassett, Denise Nicholas, Marla Gibbs, Jackée Harry and Freda Payne were among the mourners at the funeral. After the funeral, she was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.