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Jazz Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington Shares Fond Memories of Her Friend Natalie Cole

“My New Year’s resolution is to take care of myself better. I plan to sleep more, check emails less, eat more responsibly, exercise more, and generally have more quality time with me!”

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.