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SWV Members Reflect on Natalie Cole’s Passing as Singer Is Laid to Rest


ABC RadioNatalie Cole died from heart failure on December 31 at age 65 and was laid to rest in California on Monday.  The members of SWV tell ABC Radio that they will miss the beloved daughter of the late jazz legend Nat “King” Cole.

“For Natalie Cole, she was somebody I really looked up to,” Coko says before recalling their first encounter.  “She was a soprano, I’m a soprano, so I love anybody that sang high. And then when I actually met her at the Grammys she was so nice, and she knew who SWV was, and I was like, ‘Wow!’ And her son was a huge SWV fan, so the fact that I met her and she was so sweet, you know, I liked her even more.”

When she heard the news, Coko was in disbelief. “It was really sad to that she passed, you know, you saw the movie and you saw everything she went through,” she says referring to the TV movie adaptation of Cole’s autobiography, Livin’ for Love: The Natalie Cole Story. “It was just like wow!”

LeLee also reflects on recent celebrity deaths, including that of rock legend David Bowie, who passed away Sunday at the age of 69.

“Certain people, especially artists, you just feel like they’re just going to be here forever,” she says. “I still can’t get over the fact that Whitney [Houston] is gone, Michael [Jackson] is gone,  James Brown is gone, now Natalie Cole, now David Bowie,  like… I don’t know, this industry [has been shaken] up real good.” LeLee adds, “That’s why whatever you do know it just gotta count, it has to count, because that’s what people are going to remember when you die.” 

Cole’s funeral was held Monday at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, according to the Los Angeles Times. Cole was to be buried alongside her parents and other family members at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

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