Natalie Cole, October’s Breeze Artist of the Month

In October the Artist of the month spotlight shines on the late Natalie Cole.

Aided by her father’s last name but carried by raw talent, Cole began performing in front of live audiences at the age of 11 and later, inspired by her father’s musical gift, pursued her own career as an R&B singer. She later gravitated toward smooth pop and jazz genres. Her first album, 1975’s “Inseparable,” won two Grammys, one for best new artist and one for best female R&B vocal performance for the hit “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love).”

She put out a number of concept albums, including the 2013 Grammy-winning “Natalie Cole in Espanol.”

Here’s a list of her accomplishments, as compiled on her official website:

Natalie Cole Career Highlights

 

    • Natalie Cole rocketed to stardom in 1975 with her debut album, Inseparable, earning her a #1 single, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and her first two Grammy® awards for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

 

    • In 1977, Cole scored a No. 1 R&B hit with “I’ve Got Love on My Mind” from her third release, Unpredictable, which became her first platinum album. Cole continued her winning streak that same year with her fourth album, Thankful, which also went platinum and featured another signature hit, “Our Love.”

 

    • The singer expanded her success with her own TV special in 1977. It was the first of more than 300 major television appearances in her career, including dramatic roles on “Law and Order” and “Touched by an Angel” as well as guest spots on talk shows with Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Larry King.

 

    • In 1979, Cole was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 

    • After overcoming personal challenges, Cole returned in peak form with 1987’s Everlasting, an album which garnered three hit singles: “Jump Start (My Heart),” the Top 10 ballad “I Live For Your Love,” and her dance-pop cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac.”

 

    • Cole marked a career milestone in 1991 with the release of Unforgettable…With Love, featuring the celebrated duet with her late father, Nat King Cole. The album spent five weeks at No. 1 on the pop charts, earned six Grammy® awards, and sold more than 14 million copies worldwide.

 

    • In 1996, Cole released a follow-up album of American standards, Stardust, which featured another duet with her father on “When I Fall in Love.” The album went platinum and won another Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

 

    • Subsequent albums, Snowfall on the Sahara (1999) and Ask a Woman Who Knows (2002), both merited the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Artist

 

    • Cole took home her ninth career GRAMMY® award for 2008’s Still Unforgettable, which won for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. It also earned Natalie a NAACP Award for Best Jazz Artist.”

 

    • In 2001, she starred as herself in “Livin’ for Love: the Natalie Cole Story,” based on her autobiography, Angel on My Shoulder, which detailed her harrowing drive to overcome drug addiction. She received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. As an actress, Natalie starred in director Delbert Mann’s “Lily in Winter” and co-starred with Laurence Fishburne and Cicely Tyson in Walter Mosley’s “Always Outnumbered

 

    • Cole released a second memoir in 2010 titled “Love Brought Me Back,” the heart-wrenching chronicle of her quest for a kidney transplant.

 

  • Natalie Cole now serves as spokesperson for the University Kidney Research Organization, a nonprofit organization supporting medical research related to the prevention, treatment, and eradication of all form of kidney disease.

 

— Compiled by Agustin Gurza
Sadly, Natalie died of congestive heart failure on December 31, 2015. But her great music lives on.

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