Nine-time Grammy Award winner Natalie Cole died on New Year’s Eve at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, from a combination of congestive heart failure and long-standing complications from a kidney transplant and Hepatitis C, TMZ reports.
The daughter of legendary singer/jazz pianist Nat King Cole and singer Maria Hawkins Ellington, she was 65.
Cole had recently cancelled her November and December tour dates, citing “a medical procedure which precipitated a lengthy hospital stay.”
“Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived… with dignity, strength and honor,” reads a statement from her son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole. “Our beloved mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever.”
The singer’s greatest hits included “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Our Love” and “Unforgettable” (a “virtual duet” with her father, who passed in 1965, that was part of a collection of covers she did of his songs).
As an actress, Cole’s guest-starring turns included Law & Order: SVU, Grey’s Anatomy (as a wife who embarrassingly got a fork stuck in her neck) and Touched by an Angel. She also has performed on American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, and guest-judged RuPaul’s Drag Race.