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Natalie Cole, Dead at 65


Stefan M. Prager/Redferns via Getty ImagesNatalie Cole, daughter of the late jazz legend Nat “King” Cole, has died at age 65, ABC News has confirmed.

Cole died Thursday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to complications from ongoing health issues.

A statement from Cole’s family provided to ABC News reads, “It is with heavy hearts that we bring to you all the news of our Mother and sister’s passing. 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.”

No cause of death was given, though Cole has suffered a number of health issues over the years.  Various sources are reporting she died of congestive heart failure.

“We are very saddened to learn of the passing of one of music’s most celebrated and iconic women, Natalie Cole,” the Recording Academy said in a statement release early Friday afternoon.  “We’ve lost a wonderful, highly cherished artist.”

Born February 6, 1950, Cole first attained chart success in the 1970s, with R&B and funk chart hits like 1975’s #1 singles “This Will Be” and “Inseparable,” and 1978’s “Our Love.”  However, her chart success declined in the 1980s as she endured personal problems, including drug addiction. 

By the late 1980s, Cole was working hard on a career resurgence.  Her 1991 album Unforgettable… with Love, put her back on top — a collection of her singing standards her late father sang, abandoning her earlier refusal to perform her father’s songs in concert.  The album was a tremendous hit, earning five Grammys in 1992, including Album, Record and Song of the Year, the latter for her duet on “Unforgettable” with her father via digital studio wizardry.

Cole continued to record and perform live up until her death.  Her most recent album was a 2013 album of Cuban and Latin songs that topped the Billboard Latin albums chart and was a Billboard top five jazz album. 

In 2009, Cole she underwent a kidney transplant due to hepatitis C and remained in apparent good health until recently.  She canceled all of her concert appearances for November and December due to unspecified health reasons, which reportedly involved hospitalization.

Cole was married and divorced three times. 

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