RIP Natalie Cole

Friday, January 1, 2016
RIP Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole has died at the age of 65, taking with her one of the most unforgettable voices of her generation. Yes, that’s an intentional reference to the biggest hit of her career – you know, the posthumous “duet” she did with her dad – but the statement was already a valid one well before she recorded that track for her 1991 album.

Born on February 6, 1950, Natalie Maria Cole was the daughter of legendary crooner Nat King Cole and Maria Cole, who sang with Duke Ellington and Count Basie, among others, so it’s hardly a surprise that Natalie was gifted with a great voice and had little hesitation about using it. Although she got her start fronting the band Black Magic, which played R&B and rock covers, it wasn’t until she signed to Capitol Records, where her father had made his mark, that Natalie began to make waves.

Cole scored a six-pack of #1 R&B hits in her career – “This Will Be,” “Inseparable,” “Sophisticated Lady (She’s a Different Lady),” “I’ve Got Love on My Mind,” “Our Love,” and “Miss You Like Crazy” – along with several other top-10 hits, including “Mr. Melody,” “Party Lights,” “Annie Mae,” “Stand By,” “Gimme Some Time,” “Jump Start,” “I Live For Your Love,” “Over You,” “Pink Cadillac,” and “I Do.”As noted, however, it was 1991’s Unforgettable album that truly made Natalie Cole into a household name, going platinum seven times over and winning her Grammys for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year, Arrangement Accompanying Vocals, and Producer of the Year.

Cole also found success as an actress, appearing in episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” and “Touched by an Angel,” but there’s no question that she was best known as a singer, and an outstanding one at that. Yes, it’s a given that we’d say that she was unforgettable, but she’ll also be missed like crazy.