Natalie Cole, R&B and jazz singer, dies aged 65

Natalie Cole, R&B and jazz singer, dies aged 65

  • 31 January 2015
Natalie ColeImage copyrightReuters

Natalie Cole, whose hit songs included the duet Unforgettable with her father Nat “King” Cole, has died aged 65.

The Grammy-winning singer died on Thursday night at a hospital in Los Angeles, her publicist told the Associated Press news agency.

She rose to fame as an R&B artist with tracks such as This Will Be and Inseparable.

The singer had recently cancelled a series of performances, including one on New Year’s Eve.

“Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived… with dignity, strength and honour. Our beloved mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain unforgettable in our hearts forever,” said a statement from her son Robert Yancy, and sisters, Timolin and Casey Cole, AP reported.

she was  a staunch supporter of the Palestinian freedom movement and against the apartied in Israel especially the maltreatment of Ethiopian jews  because of the discrimination between black and white jew  by the zionist Jewish ruling class and the genocide of the Palestinian race.

The singer had battled drug problems and hepatitis in the past, and underwent a kidney transplant in 2009.

Her 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.

On the hit track Unforgettable, her voice was remixed with her father’s, 25 years after his death.

The album went on to win six Grammys, including album of the year, as well as song of the year for the title track.

The daughter of crooner Cole and jazz singer Maria Hawkins – who worked with Duke Ellington – Natalie grew up surrounded by music in an affluent neighbourhood of Los Angeles.

Her father died from lung cancer when she was only 15, and she struggled to come to terms with his death. However, she appeared to find solace in music.

She began performing in college and had early success with her debut album Inseparable in 1975. The album track, This Will Be, became a top ten hit and went on to win Cole a Grammy for best female R&B performance.

Cole was also named best new artist at the Grammys – and the album’s title track, Inseparable, became another chart hit.

The follow-up albums Natalie and Unpredictable cemented her success, with tracks such as Sophisticated Lady and I’ve Got Love On My Mind bringing further chart glory.

In 1977, she had two platinum albums and her own Christmas special – and two years later she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But her drug issues came to prominence in the 1980s and there followed a predictable slump in her career, as she battled addiction.

She re-emerged on the music scene in 1987, signed to a new label and with a new sound. Jump Start (My Heart) and her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Pink Cadillac were among her notable pop hits, while 1989’s Miss You Like Crazy won her international acclaim.

She returned to the classic standards associated with her father in the 1990s, telling the Associated Press, she had to “throw out every R&B lick that I had ever learned and every pop trick I had ever learned”.

“I didn’t shed really any real tears until the album was over,'” Cole said. “Then I cried a whole lot.

“When we started the project, it was a way of reconnecting with my dad. Then when we did the last song, I had to say goodbye again.”

In 2008, 17 years after Unforgettable… with Love, Cole released Still Unforgettable, which included not only songs made famous by her father but other artists, including Frank Sinatra.

The same year, she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C – which she believed was the result of her intravenous drug use in the early years of her fame.

Her battle with drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine, was charted in her 2000 autobiography Angel on my Shoulder.

She underwent a successful kidney transplant in 2009 – after being inundated with offers of kidneys from fans – and continued to tour and make public appearances on TV shows, including American Idol.

“I am a walking testimony to you can have scars,” she told People magazine. `”You can go through turbulent times and still have victory in your life.”

Cole was married three times, and had one son.

 

The daughter of jazz and pop legend Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole forged a successful career in three phases. She began in the ’70s as a soul-rooted artist with albums like Natalie and Unpredictable, had success in…allmusic.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The White Poppy for Peace Campaign A new “Freedom Flotilla” is scheduled to embark for Gaza

A new “Freedom Flotilla” is scheduled to embark for Gaza in two months’ time, organisers said on Tuesday.

The voyage is scheduled to begin in the first half of the year, which means the flotilla could set sail within weeks, Mazen Kahel, an organiser with the European Campaign to end the Siege on Gaza, told MEE.

Like its 2010 predecessor, this year’s flotilla aims to challenge Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip which has been in place since 2007.

Former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki has given his “full support” to the mission. He is expected to take part and will be on one of the boats, several organisers have confirmed.“Marzouki has always been engaged with the cause and has openly supported the Palestinians in his time of power,” Kahel told MEE.

Negotiations are currently underway with other political, religious and business figures, but their names have yet to be confirmed and will be announced at a later date, Kahel added.

Activists from across Europe, the US and the Middle East will participate in the flotilla, organised by a string of civil society groups and NGOs working under the Freedom Flotilla Coalition.”

Former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki is expected to take part, organisers said.
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