Legendary singer Natalie Cole died in a Los Angeles area hospital on January 1 at the age of 65. According to TMZ, Cole had been ill for several weeks and recently canceled a few shows. According to the New York Daily News, Cole’s cause of death was congestive heart failure.
Cole has had quite a few serious health issues over the years but was still performing and seemed to be doing okay earlier this year.
“Natalie struggled with substance abuse and was plagued with health problems, suffering from liver disease in 2008. She ended up getting a transplant. She also contracted Hepatitis C, for which she underwent chemo,” reports TMZ.
Natalie Cole is best known for her song “Unforgettable,” which is a duet that she recorded with her dad, Nat King Cole (her mom is singer Maria Cole), virtually. Nat King Cole died in 1965 after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was just 45-years-old.
According to Biography, Natalie Cole was heartbroken after losing her dad. While she did lean on her music career as a way to cope with the pain, Cole also got mixed up with drugs.
“The death of her father greatly affected Natalie Cole, which is obvious through her songwriting and tributes. In her 2000 autobiography, Angel on my Shoulder, Cole exposes her depression and heavy drug use throughout her career. She began using recreational drugs while attending college in Amherst. Cole’s addiction became so prominent in her life that on more than one occasion it nearly killed her.”
Natalie was one of five children (she had two biological siblings and two adopted siblings). As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Maria Cole passed away in 2012 at age 89. At the time, the Cole children released the following statement.
“Our mom was in a class all by herself. She epitomized class, elegance, and truly defined what it is to be a real lady. We are so blessed and privileged to have inherited the legacy that she leaves behind along with our father. She died how she lived – with great strength, courage and dignity, surrounded by her loving family.”
Natalie Cole’s mom and dad are buried together at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale. It is unknown if Natalie will be buried with her parents. Funeral arrangements have not been made public at this time.
Natalie was married three times herself, and she divorced her third husband, Bishop Kenneth Dupree, in 2005. Cole has one son, Robert Adam Yancy, from her first marriage to producer Marvin Yancy. Robert is 38-years-old.
Fans have been reacting to the sad news today on social media. Check out some of the tweets below.
RIP Natalie Cole????
— Taint West (@ladyw87) January 1, 2016
natalie cole passed away? nah wait PLEASE tell me this is a joke..
— pam grier. (@KristinDior_) January 1, 2016
Reports are surfacing #NatalieCole has gone 2 be with her father today at 65 years old. R.I.P to a woman with a lovely voice like her dad????????
— Alicha (@harrisal79) January 1, 2016
Rest in peace Natalie Cole
— Valerie Sanders (@ValerieB92) January 1, 2016
Rest In Peace Natalie Cole
— Finessa Williams (@iamhusk) January 1, 2016
truly unforgettable, RIP #NatalieCole
— KCRA Angie Sheets (@motherbirdnews) January 1, 2016
Natalie Cole will be greatly missed, but her and her music will be remembered forever.
Update: Cole’s rep has released the following statement on behalf of the family.
“It is with heavy hearts that we bring to you all the news of our Mother and sister’s passing. 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.”
[Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images Entertainment]