"She was a true legend that will always be with us. Her contributions to music are remarkable and I am thankful for them and for her," writes Carrington.

I met Natalie Cole when I was about 11 or 12 years old backstage at one of her shows. My aunt brought me to the show and talked her way backstage in order to introduce me. I was extremely shy and nervous, but Natalie welcomed us with open arms.

Farewell, Natalie: A Look Back at an Unforgettable Life

My aunt explained that I was a drumming prodigy that she needed to know. Natalie smiled and said she looked forward to hearing me and hoped we would get to play together one day. We eventually did. I remember this day clearly—her warmth toward me and everyone else backstage, including some of Dick Gregory’s children, one of whom later became one of my very close friends. This was the first major R&B concert I had ever attended and it left a lasting impression. Thanks to her, and Diana Ross, I too wanted to be a star.

Terri Lyne Carrington is a three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning international recording artist, multi-genre producer and composer.  She is the Zildjian Chair in Jazz Performance at the Berklee College of Music Global Jazz Institute.

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