Natalie Cole, multiple Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, actress and daughter of music legend Nat “King” Cole and singer Maria Hawkins Cole, has died. Cole had struggled with various health issues in recent years and died Thursday night in Los Angeles, according to The Associated Press. She was 65.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson tweeted a remembrance of Cole.
Born into a musical family, Cole started out singing in small clubs with her band Black Magic. She rose to success in the 1970s as an R&B artist with hits such as “This Will Be”, “Inseparable”, and “Our Love”, but then fell into depression and a period of drug addiction after losing several family members, including her father, mother and sister. Cole re-emerged in the late 80s as a pop artist with the 1987 album, “Everlasting”, and her cover of Bruce Springsteens’s “Pink Cadillac”. Her biggest success came in the 1990s, with the re-recording of her father’s standards, including “Unforgettable… with Love”, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards.
Cole segued into acting with guest appearances on TV series I’ll Fly Away, Touched by an Angel, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2006, she made a memorable guest appearance on the ABC s Grey’s Anatomy as a terminally ill patient. Cole also was a guest judge on reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race and appeared on Real Housewives Of New York City. On the film side, she most recently appeared in the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely, and had a lead role in made-for-TV movie Lily in Winter. In 2001 she starred as herself in Livin’ for Love: the Natalie Cole Story, for which she received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. A 1992 PBS special based on her “Unforgettable: With Love” album earned her Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program; and Cole herself received a nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance, losing to Bette Midler.