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Summary Article: Natalie Cole (1950–)
from African American Almanac
Singer

Natalie Cole was born on February 6, 1950, in Los Angeles, California, the second daughter of jazz pianist and pop music legend Nat “King” Cole. During the early 1970s Cole performed in nightclubs while pursuing a degree in child psychology at the University of Massachusetts. In 1975 she recorded her first album, Inseparable, at Curtis Mayfield's Cur-tom Studios. Her other albums include Thankful (1978), I'm Ready (1983), Dangerous (1985), Everlasting (1987), and Good to Be Back (1989). In 1991 Cole released a twenty-two-song collection of her father's hits. The album, which contains a re-mixed version of the original title track “Unforgettable,” features a duet between Cole and her father and earned her a Grammy Award for record of the year and album of the year.

In 1966 Cole released the album Stardust, which features a duet with her father, “When I Fall in Love,” and earned her another Grammy. Cole's style over the years, which has encompassed jazz, pop, and R&B, were represented well in her album The Sahara, released in 1999. She has produced an array of songs that reflect the classic and smooth jazz styles of Ella Fitzgerald and the soul searching sounds of R&B done by Aretha Franklin while still creating her own unique vocal quality reflective of the legacy of her father's vocal style.

Cole has won numerous awards, including Grammys, NAACP Image Awards, and other accolades for her singing as well as praises for continuing to win her battle with drugs. In 2000 she published her autobiography Angel on My Shoulder about her life, and in 2001 she starred in a television movie also about her life entitled Living For Love: The Natalie Cole Story. She signed with Verve Records in 2002 and released the album Leavin’ in 2006, which debuted at number one on the jazz charts and also appeared on the Billboard chart.

Copyright © 2012 by Visible Ink Press®

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