My spine tingled when I heard Natalie Cole sing that unforgettable duet with her father at Chastain Park. She projected a genuine, kind and dignified stage presence and gave a wonderful concert. Her music is among my favorites, certainly in the top 20 of my play count.
Cole released her best-selling album with 1991’s Unforgettable… with Love on Elektra Records, which saw Cole singing songs her famous father recorded, nearly 20 years after she initially had refused to cover her father’s songs during live concerts. Cole produced vocal arrangements for the songs, with piano accompaniment by her uncle Ike Cole. Cole’s label released an interactive duet between Cole and her father on the title song, “Unforgettable”. The song eventually reached number fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and number ten on the R&B chart, going gold. Unforgettable…with Love eventually sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. alone and won several Grammys, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for the top song.1
Her difficulties with addiction were tragic. So many gifted artists battle that demon.
Cole’s funeral was held on January 11, 2016, at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles. David Foster, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Eddie Levert, Mary Wilson, Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Jesse Jackson, Angela Bassett, Denise Nicholas, and Freda Payne were among the mourners at the funeral. After the funeral, she was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, next to her parents Maria and Nat King Cole. 2
February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015 (aged 65)