The music world lost another jazz legend at the close of 2015. Grammy Award winning artist Natalie Cole passed away at the young age of 65 on December 31, 2015. The singer had been dealing with “ongoing health issues” yet was able to spend one last holiday season with her family before passing on.
I remember first falling in love with the rich vocals of Natalie’s father Nat King Cole as a kid. On the long drive to Interlochen Arts Academy to visit my brother we would listen to his albums until we arrived. I was very familiar with his most famous song ‘Unforgettable.’ One day on a random smooth jazz radio station (…there were so many in Detroit) I heard ‘Unforgettable’ but this time there was a woman on the track. Turns out that was Nat King Cole’s daughter Natalie Cole. From then on I was able to recognize her voice and accredit it to music I’d heard before like her hit from 1975, ‘This Will Be.’
Natalie’s sister Timolin revealed, “Christmas Eve has always been a magical time for Natalie because she looked forward to the season and being surrounded by loved ones.” Natalie leaves behind a son, Robert Yancy, and twin sisters Timolin and Casey. ‘We had a wonderful evening where we reminisced about holiday traditions of the past and present, including decorating every inch of her Hancock Park home with vintage Christmas ornaments and finery,’ Timolin said of their last memories together. I can only imagine how special the holiday season was for the Cole family considering their father’s rendition of “The Christmas Song” is a holiday staple for many. Though Natalie will be missed dearly, her musical legacy will live on.