It was New Year's Day when I found out about the passing of singer Natalie Cole. I was laying in bed. I'd just woken up from a hard night of playing scrabble and watching The Dark Knight Rises. It was not the way for me to start the New Year.
I've never been a massive fan of Natalie Cole, but she's an icon. I don't have any of her albums, but I like her. I've always liked Natalie Cole. She's the daughter of Nat King Cole. She was a child of a musical family. She was gorgeous, especially in her sixties, and I just don't know who wouldn't stand for Natalie Cole.
She had a steep decline for a few years after the seventies. Most, probably expected her platinum selling Unpredictable and it's number five hit “I've Got Love On My Mind” to be the career defining moment for her. Not knowing her biggest success was yet to come.
During this time Natalie Cole suffered with a lot of drug and substance abuse. It wasn't until 1983 that she entered rehab for her addictions to crack cocaine and heroin. She outlined most of this in her autobiography Angel on My Shoulder. Her drug use contributed to her long term health decline and is one of the reasons we lost her so soon.
It came as a shock as she'd refused to sing her father's songs live up to this point. She never had another album match it's success. Although, her next three albums were certified varying degrees of platinum or gold. Her last studio album harkened back to this idea of treading in her father's footsteps when she released an album of Spanish songs entitled Natalie Cole en Espanol. Similarly titled to her father's Cole Espanol.
Her last years were successful. Arguably she reached her peak when she starred as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race. Where could she really go after reaching the peak? Although, never to have a number one hit, she remains a staple in the music community, and her presence will be missed.