Well, damn. Via the New York Daily News:
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.
I first saw Natalie Cole in concert during one of Disney World’s Grad Nights, probably in 1976. She performed on the Fantasyland stage and stood right next to us for several minutes without being recognized.