R&B singer and daughter of the late Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole, has passed away last night (Dec. 31) at the age of 65.
Her publicist Maureen O’Connor broke the news to the Associated Press, telling the news outlet the passing was due to congestive heart failure. Cole had struggled with a variety of health issues in recent years, including hepatitis C which is linked to drug abuse early in her life and career.
Cole won nine Grammy Awards, and is known for hits such as 1975’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and 1991’s “Unforgettable,” a virtual duet with her late father from the album “Unforgettable … With Love” which spent five weeks at No. 1 and sold 14 million copies worldwide. Cole was the first R&B singer to win a Grammy for Best New Artist.
Cole starred as herself in the 2001 made-for-TV movie “Livin’ For Love: The Natalie Cole Story,” a biopic based off of her two memoirs. She received a kidney in 2009 from an anonymous donor after hepatitis C forced her into dialysis, and became a spokesperson for the University Kidney Research Organization.
Her last performance was in June 2014, when Cole performed at the Apollo Theater’s 80th birthday celebration.