Natalie Cole Biography


Birthday: February 6, 1950 (Aquarius)

Born In: Los Angeles, California

Natalie Cole was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and voice artist. The daughter of the legendary musician Nat King Cole, she rose to fame in the 1970s with her hits "This Will Be", "Our Love" and "Inseparable". After a gap of a few years, she went on to re-emerge as a pop artist with her 1987 album ‘Everlasting.’ In the 1990s, Cole released her biggest hit ever, ‘Unforgettable... with Love’ that sold over 7 million copies and also won her seven Grammy Awards. Raised in Los Angeles' exclusive Hancock Park area, Natalie Cole grew up in a sophisticated musical atmosphere. She consciously moved away from her famous father’s shadow and found meteoric success on her own. However, her father, who broke many racial barriers during his own musical career, did not live long enough to see his daughter's success, dying of lung cancer sometime after Cole’s 15th birthday. Her father's untimely death scarred her emotionally and it was music that helped heal her. Cole attended the University of Massachusetts and majored in child psychology before briefly attending the University of Southern California. She began her extraordinary musical career following her graduation. In December 2015, Cole breathed her last at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Natalie Maria Cole

Died At Age: 65


Spouse/Ex-: Andre Fischer (m. 1989; div. 1995), Kenneth Dupree (m. 2001; div. 2004), Marvin Yancy (m. 1976; div. 1980)

father: Nat King Cole

mother: Maria Cole

siblings: Carole Cole, Casey Cole, Nat Kelly Cole, Timolin Cole

children: Robert Adam Yancy

Rhythm & Blues Singers American Women

Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Females

Died on: December 31, 2015

place of death: Los Angeles, California

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

More Facts

education: The University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • 1

    What was Natalie Cole's most famous song?

    Natalie Cole's most famous song is "Unforgettable," a duet featuring her late father, Nat King Cole.
  • 2

    Did Natalie Cole struggle with addiction?

    Yes, Natalie Cole struggled with drug addiction for many years before seeking help and getting sober.
  • 3

    Was Natalie Cole a successful actress as well as a singer?

    Yes, Natalie Cole was a successful actress, appearing in films and television shows such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Touched by an Angel."
  • 4

    Did Natalie Cole release any successful albums in the 1990s?

    Yes, Natalie Cole released the successful album "Unforgettable... with Love" in 1991, which won multiple Grammy Awards.
  • 5

    Where did Natalie Cole pass away?

    Natalie Cole passed away in Los Angeles, California, on December 31, 2015, at the age of 65.

Childhood & Early Life
Natalie Cole was born on February 6, 1950 in Los Angeles, California, the USA to popular singer Nat King Cole and his wife Maria Hawkins Ellington, a former orchestra singer. She was a grandniece of the famous educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown and the niece of Freddy Cole who is a popular pianist and singer.
She grew up with her older adopted sister, Carole "Cookie," who was her mother’s younger sister's daughter; younger twin sisters, Casey and Timolin; and adopted brother Nat "Kelly" Cole.
At the age of six, Cole sang for her father's Christmas album and later started performing at the age of 11.
She attended Northfield School for Girls (now Northfield Mount Hermon School) before her father’s death in 1965.
Cole eventually attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She later studied at the University of Southern California for a brief period of time. She again transferred to the University of Massachusetts and graduated from there in 1972, majoring in child psychology.
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After graduation, Natalie Cole started singing at clubs with her band Black Magic. She then began performing R&B and rock numbers at various venues. It was during this time that she was approached by producers Marvin Yancy and Chuck Jackson who wanted to work with her.
Cole then began recording songs with Yancy, who later sent them to numerous record labels. Almost every label turned them down except Capitol Records, Cole’s father's label.
She ultimately signed with Capitol Records and released her debut studio album titled ‘Inseparable’ in 1975. Two of the album’s songs "This Will Be" and "Inseparable" became hits.
In 1976, the singer released her album ‘Natalie.’ This album, like ‘Inseparable,’ became a huge success because of its popular hits "Sophisticated Lady" and "Mr. Melody". She then came up with her album titled ‘Unpredictable’ that went platinum, thanks to its R&B hit track "I've Got Love on My Mind".
In 1977, Cole issued her second platinum album, ‘Thankful,’ that included the hit, "Our Love". Soon after, she started her own show on TV. In 1978, she released her first ever live album, ‘Natalie Live!’
n 1979, she released two albums, ‘I Love You So’ and ‘We're the Best of Friends’. Both these albums went gold in the USA, thus continuing her popularity.
The American singer then came up with her album ‘Don't Look Back’ in 1980. While the song "Someone That I Used To Love" became a hit, the album itself failed to impress much.
In the early 1980s, Natalie Cole’s career suffered a series of setbacks. Besides other personal issues, she was also battling a severe drug addiction problem. In 1983, after the release of the album ‘I'm Ready,’ Cole entered a rehab facility and stayed there for about six months.
Following her release from the rehab, she signed a deal with the Atco imprint Modern Records and released her album ‘Dangerous’ in 1985, thus beginning the process of rebuilding her career.
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In 1987, she signed with EMI-Manhattan Records, and with the help of the record executives, released the album ‘Everlasting.’ The album featured the hit singles "Jump Start", "I Live For Your Love", and "Pink Cadillac".
Cole released the follow-up to ‘Everlasting’ titled ‘Good to Be Back’ (1989) that produced two hits including "Miss You Like Crazy". The album also achieved moderate international success.
In 1991, she released the album ‘Unforgettable… with Love’ that topped several international charts. In 1992, she became a part of the television special "A Tribute To Nat Cole" for BBC-TV.
Natalie Cole released the albums ‘Take a Look’ (1993) and ‘Holly & Ivy’ (1994), both of which eventually went gold. Her other release, ‘Stardust,’ went platinum and helped her earn a Grammy.
She released her compilation ‘Greatest Hits, Vol. 1’ in 2000. She changed to Verve Records later and came up with her albums ‘Ask a Woman Who Knows’ (2002) and Leavin' (2006).
Cole made numerous guest appearances on television, including on series like ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,’ ‘I'll Fly Away,’ and ‘Touched by an Angel.’ She also acted in a few feature films and TV flicks, most notably as the lead in ‘Lily in Winter.’
In 2001, she starred as herself in the miniseries ‘Livin' for Love: the Natalie Cole Story’. On July 22, 2011, she appeared on the reality show ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’. The following year, Cole appeared as a guest judge on ‘RuPaul's Drag Race.’
Major Works
In 1991, Natalie Cole released her album titled ‘Unforgettable... with Love’ through Elektra Records. This album featured her covers of the popular songs her father had previously recorded. The album sold more than 7 million copies in the USA alone and earned a number of Grammys including the Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
The recreated duet version of the much loved song “Unforgettable,” featuring the recorded vocals of Nat Cole along with the voice of Natalie Cole, was a major hit. This song went gold and reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #10 on the R&B chart.
Personal Life
Natalie Cole was married three times in her lifetime. Her first husband was songwriter cum producer Marvin Yancy. The duo had a son, Robert Adam, who died in 2017. Cole and Yancy divorced in 1980 after which she went on to marry record producer Andre Fischer. Her second marriage too ended in a divorce in 1995.
In 2001, she married bishop Kenneth Dupree. However, the two parted ways in 2004.
She disclosed in 2008 that she was suffering from hepatitis C. Her health deteriorated rapidly in the ensuing years. On December 31, 2015, she died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to congestive heart failure. She was aged 65.
Facts About Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole was the daughter of legendary jazz musician Nat King Cole, and she followed in his footsteps to become a successful singer in her own right.
Despite growing up in the shadow of her famous father, Natalie Cole carved out her own unique style and sound, blending elements of R&B, soul, and jazz in her music.
In addition to her musical talents, Natalie Cole was also a dedicated philanthropist, supporting various charities and organizations throughout her career.
Throughout her life, Natalie Cole battled various health challenges with grace and resilience, inspiring others with her courage and determination.


Grammy Awards
2009 Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Winner
2009 Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) Winner
1997 Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Winner
1997 Best Instrumental Arrangement with Accompanying Vocal(s) Winner
1994 Best Jazz Vocal Performance Winner
1992 Best Traditional Pop Performance Winner
1992 Song of the Year Winner
1992 Album of the Year Winner
1992 Record of the Year Winner
1992 Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical Winner
1992 Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s) Winner
1977 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female Winner
1976 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female Winner
1976 Best New Artist of the Year Winner

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