This isn’t how we like to start a new year, but attempting to make the best out of unfortunate news we are celebrating the life and career of the amazing Natalie Cole, who passed away at the young age of 65 on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015.
According to a statement released by her family, Cole passed away at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles due to compilations from ongoing health issues.
“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,” read the statement from her son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole.
Cole had battled drug problems and hepatitis that forced her to undergo a kidney transplant in May 2009.
The singer, who was the daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole, had a successful career spanning four decades with her unique blend of sweet, soulful R&B and Jazz. Her first hit, the hopeful, upbeat love song “This Will Be,” entered the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1975, and became her first top 10 on the chart, reaching No. 6 that November. A year later, Cole added her second top 10, the No. 5-peaking “I’ve Got Love on My Mind.” The No. 10-peaking “Our Love” would follow in 1978.
Cole’s greatest success came with her 1991 album, Unforgettable … With Love, which paid tribute to her father with reworked versions of some of his best-known songs, including “That Sunday That Summer,” “Too Young” and “Mona Lisa.” Her voice was spliced with her dad’s in the title cut, offering a delicate duet a quarter-century after his death. The album sold over 7 million copies in the U.S. and won six Grammys, including album of the year as well record and song of the year for the title track duet.
In honor of Cole we have put together a playlist of favorites, which you can stream below via Spotify.