Natalie Maria Cole, the songwriter recognized for expressing her true soul in the album “Unforgettable,” died of a lung disease, called idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension that she had since five years ago, which caused her a heart failure, that appears to be a recognized consequence of the disease.
The R&B artist is known to be the first African American artist who won a Best New Artist Grammy in history. In 2009, she received a kidney transplant, and then she was diagnosed with the pulmonary disease. Her family announced that Cole died on December 31.
“She responded well to pulmonary arterial hypertension-specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts worldwide, but eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder,” told Cole’s family to the Associated Press.
The last tweets of the singer were published last year when she announced she was excited to be singing on tour in the next months. A statement from her family declared she died in a hospital in Los Angeles at the age of 65.
Several artists from the music world have declared their condolences. Quincy Jones, said in a statement published on his Facebook Page, that her music was a reflection of who she was as a human being. He added that Natalie Cole had an innate talent that permitted her to manage “Unforgettable,” the most famous album from the singer.
“It’s still so hard to believe that Natalie is gone, especially at the young age of 65. I met her when she was traveling with her father during our 1960 tour (Nat King Cole, Quincy Jones & his Big Band). She was only 10 years old at the time, but she had such a sweet spirit and was such a classic talent even then,” he added.
“Unforgettable” has sold over 14 million copies around the world, it won Grammys for Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Traditional Pop performance. In total, Natalie Cole has been nominated 21 times at the Grammy Awards and have won 9 Grammys.
In 2000, Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, published her autobiography “Angel On My Shoulder,” where she narrates how she passed through drug addiction from substances such as heroin, crack and cocaine, which started as a form of recreation while she attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
She went to rehab in 1983 and in 2008 she announced she had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a disease transmitted by blood. She added she had the disease as a consequence of using intravenous drugs, and she remarked that the disease remained in her body for about 25 years. Months later, she was diagnosed with a kidney failure and then doctors realized she had the lung disease that killed her.
Last year, after she expressed she was excited to be singing on tour in December, several presentations were canceled because of her illness. Her son and sisters commented to the media that Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, and added that she will be greatly missed and never forgotten.