Natalie Marie Cole was born on February 6, 1950 to legendary crooner Nat King Cole and Maria Hawkins Cole in Los Angeles.
Natalie Cole’s mother, Maria Hawkins Cole, was an orchestra singer for Duke Ellington.
Cole began singing at age 6 by recording a Christmas song with her father and by age 11, she was performing with him. Nat “King” Cole was a singer most known for his velvety voice specializing in jazz ballads and his iconic 1946 recording of “The Christmas Song.”
Natalie’s father, Nat, passed when away when she was 15. His death she said, “crushed” her.
Natalie Cole attended college at the University of Massachusetts where she studied Psychology. During her time as a student, Cole would often frequent nightclubs performing with the help of her father’s name.
In 1975, Cole released her debut album “Inseparable” and garnered her first hit song, This Will Be (An Everlasting Love).The album sold 14 million copies.
Natalie Cole won her first Grammy award in 1976 for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. In 1977, she took home another Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. She is pictured here with guests at the 19th Annual Grammy Awards on February 19, 1977 at Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California.
Natalie Cole had one son, Robert Adam Yancy, who often toured with her.
Natalie Cole was honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979.
On June 11, 1988, Natalie Cole was invited to perform at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute Concert in Wembley, London.
The televised performance of a digital duet of her father’s classic 1952 song “Unforgettable” earned Cole an Emmy nomination in 1992.
Natalie Cole attends the 34th Annual Grammy Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Feb 25, 1992 in New York City. That night, Cole took home Grammy awards for Album of the Year, Best Record of the Year, Best Traditional Pop Perfomance and Best Jazz Vocal Performance for her album, “Unforgettable…With Love.” Six of her nine Grammy wins are credited to this tribute album that honored her late father.
In 2000, Natalie Cole penned her autobiography, Angel On My Shoulder, in which shared that she struggled with a drug addiction in the 1980s but was able to find herself on the road to recovery after a 1983 30-day stay in rehab. She also released another memoir Love Brought Me Back in 2010.
In March 6, 2000, Natalie attended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction dinner in New York City in place of her father who was inducted at the Hall’s 15th annual ceremony along with Ray Charles.
Natalie Cole performing at ‘The Missing Peace’ event at the Cannon Center on September 23, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Natalie Cole attends Chaka Khan’s 60th birthday party at Yamashiro Restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
Natalie Cole attends the 44th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York.
Berry Gordy and Natalie Cole attend the 2014 Carousel of Hope Ball held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Natalie Cole performs onstage during the second night of inaugural celebrations at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California.
Natalie Cole performs on stage during the 2011 Soul Train Awards in Atlanta.
Natalie Cole performs live during a concert at the Admiralspalast on July 16, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
Natalie Cole shares a sweet moment with Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle backstage after her broadway debut in After Midnight at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in 2014 in New York City.
Natalie tried her hand at acting appearing on the ABC hit series Grey’s Anatomy, Law and Order SVU as well as Touched By An Angel. Here, the singer poses with Beyonce and Halle Berry.
Natalie Cole performs onstage during the 2012 Latin Grammys Person of the Year ceremony, honoring Caetano Veloso, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Natalie Cole seen at LAX on January 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. According to People, Cole suffered through a number of health issues including a bout with Hepatitis C while undergoing chemotheraphy.
The singer received a kidney transplant from a directed donor in 2009 following a diagnosis of Hepatitis C.
The nine-time Grammy award winner died on December 31, 2015 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She will be remembered as one of the premiere jazz singers of the century.