Friday, January 1, 2016

NATALIE COLE (1950 - 2015)

One of the most dynamic performers in popular music, Natalie Cole has sadly passed away on December 31st due to ongoing health issues. Born and raised in Los Angeles, it seems music was in her blood as she was the daughter of legendary pop/jazz vocalist, Nat "King" Cole and Maria Cole who once sang with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. While attending college to study psychology, she would perform in small clubs singing rock and soul numbers, trying to put some distance from her father's legacy and find her own way in to music.

Cole was discovered by producers Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy (whom she later married and they had a son, Robbie) and released her debut album, "Inseparable" in 1975 on Capitol Records, which was the label her father recorded with. The album was a instant success due to the first single, "This Will Be" and would win Cole the first two of her nine career Grammy Awards including for Best New Artist.

Cole would become a major star and had many more hit songs including "I've Got Love on My Mind", "Our Love" and "Sophisticated Lady (She's a Different Lady)" throughout the rest of the '70's but a serious drug addiction was creating havoc in her personal life. By 1983, she sought treatment and became ready to get her career back on track. It didn't take too long for Cole to find herself back on the charts with songs like "Miss You Like Crazy", "I Live For Your Love" and a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac".

The singer soon found herself ready to explore the music made famous by her father and recorded "Unforgettable. . . With Love" in 1991. It featured a beautiful duet of the title track with her and (with the help of technology) Nat "King" Cole and the single became a top-twenty hit. The album would go on to sell seven million copies and win six Grammy Awards including Album of The Year.

Let's look back on this incredible talent and celebrate the wonderful music she gave us:

"Mr. Melody" - Natalie Cole (1976) mp3

"Our Love" - Natalie Cole (1978) mp3

"I Live For Your Love" - Natalie Cole (1987) mp3

And here is the video of Natalie Cole performing the magical "Unforgettable" with her father:


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