Chart-topping R&B singer Natalie Cole, who followed her legendary father into the music business with hits like “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and “Unforgettable,” died at age 65.
“Natalie Cole, sister beloved & of substance and sound. May her soul rest in peace,” tweeted the Rev. Jesse Jackson on New Year’s Day.
Cole, who had struggled with a variety of health issues in recent years, died Thursday night, according to publicist Maureen O’Connor. The cause of death was reportedly congestive heart failure.
A physically weakened Cole, winner of nine Grammy Awards, was forced to cancel a string of concert performances over the last three months after a recurrence of hepatitis C linked to her earlier drug abuse.
The daughter of music icon Nat (King) Cole scored a huge 1991 hit with “Unforgettable” — a virtual duet with her late father. Natalie was just 15 when her father died in 1965, a decade before his daughter launched her own solo recording career.
The album “Unforgettable … With Love” spent five weeks at No. 1 on the pop charts, sold more than 14 million copies worldwide and won six Grammy Awards.
But her career exploded with her 1975 debut album that included the massive hit single “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and a pair of Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Performance.