Natalie Cole in 2007
|Born||Natalie Maria Cole
February 6, 1950
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||December 31, 2015
Los Angeles, California
|Cause of death||Congestive heart failure|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Marvin Yancy (m. 1976â€“80)
|Parent(s)||Nat King Cole
|Family||Carole Cole (sister)|
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
Nat King Cole
I think that it's going to be interesting to see where Beyonce's career goes.
I get hugs all the time from strangers. I do believe that people can feel your persona when you perform live, but it is one of the nicest things if you can translate that on your records.
I'm a born-again Christian. I was raised Episcopalian – I've always been of a Christian faith, but I became much more active in it when I married my first husband, Marvin. I changed from Episcopalian to Baptist.
When I did 'Unforgettable,' it wasn't appropriate for us to take liberties with that music. There had to be kind of a fine line between what had made it so great and the fact that a woman was singing it. We changed some of the arrangements, but not too much.
I would hate to look back on my life and go, 'You know, I wanted to do a rock n' roll album. I should have, and I never did.'
I like Babyface, but he keeps the good stuff for himself. If he's willing to give his good stuff to me, we'll talk. But it can't be any of his B-grade stuff.
I still love recording and still love the stage, but like my dad, I have the most fun when I am in front of that glorious orchestra or that kick-butt big band.
I continually acted up to get attention. My father gave me that, and once he left, I felt that I didn't have any.
It's remarkable what a new kidney does to your life. I have no complaints… I'm pretty amazed. I have been working on my stamina.
I loved when my dad was home. He liked to sit in the living room and watch boxing and baseball on TV. Or he'd be tinkering around or listening to records by his musician buddies – George Shearing, Oscar Peterson and the Jackie Gleason Orchestra.
I couldn't breathe. I – I went into – literally, my kidneys stopped functioning. They stopped, you know, processing the fluid that was starting to build up in my body.
One of these days, I'd like to put together a revue of all my music, which would probably turn into a marathon. There's a couple of hit songs from almost every phase of my career. At the same time, visually, if you don't handle it properly, it could be a cacophony of craziness, because there's just so many different kinds of music.
I don't think anyone can measure up to what my father had achieved. I'm just happy to at least play some of his music, but he is really the one who was the pioneer, the one who started all this. He's really The King.
It's the same girl-who-has-everything story. You know, the one where she's insecure and scared and unhappy and has marriage problems and doesn't know how to handle stardom and screws up right and left and gets in with the wrong people and goes down the drain.
I think we need to be sexy and kind of mysterious and still pretty and beautiful. I like to hear that when a man sings. I don't really want to hear about taking my clothes off.
The house where I grew up in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles was like a dream – even though my family faced threats after my father bought it in August 1948.
There are a lot of great artists with great voices who aren't singing what they should be singing.
When I was old enough to walk home alone from school, I loved seeing our house from a distance. It sat on the corner of South Muirfield Road and West 4th Street and had this proud, majestic look. But I rarely went through the front door. The back was more dramatic.
I feel enough distance from the person I used to be. I'm not ashamed about my life anymore, because I've learnt from it.
As kids, we had no clue about the racial stuff that seemed to preoccupy adults. We just enjoyed our life as kids.
I've had my share of doing things that I really wish I hadn't done.
I imagine there are a lot of people who will never be able to accept me because they feel I've let them down, but I am a different person, and most people have welcomed me back in that spirit.
I felt that if I'm serious about acting, I would like people to see me as an actress. It's less of a stretch if I'm singing, unless I'm playing a character who sings.
Like my father, I don't want to see anyone mistreated, anything like that. I'm very racial-conscious because my father had a lot of, you know, challenges in the area of race. I'm very sensitive to that kind of issue.
I've always been interested in the office. I was a secretary a long time ago, and I've always been into paperwork. My first secretarial job was 1965 or 1966.
We used to have to arrange things around the dialysis. I would have to plan where to play so I could be back in time, and couldn't go too far.
I have been to hell and back. I have seen the edge. I have seen the dark side of life.
Nothing had been attempted like that, to lift Dad's voice, literally, off of that track and put it on a brand-new one, and then line it up, match it up, get the phrasing right. I remember listening – everyone listening at the end, and we were just enthralled. It was really wonderful.
God surrounded me with people of faith, people of strong faith, people of power, spiritual power, and I saw little miracles happen in their lives. By it happening in their lives, I started believing it could happen to me.
I'm the type of person who won't cancel a show even if I don't feel my best.
I look 10 years younger than I am. Unfortunately, sometimes I act like I'm 10 years old.
I think people just want to be popular. So they're going to write lyrics that are going to get your attention. You know, sometimes, they're a little graphic, and I don't think that's so necessary.
People said when I started, 'Why don't you just copy your father's style?' I had to be myself, singing my songs in my own way.
I managed to survive the worst things any entertainer could possibly go through.
I think that I am a walking testimony to you can have scars. You can go through turbulent times and still have victory in your life.
What's really important? That I'm an individual, I guess. I am an individual – a strong one, too. I'm Natalie Cole. I gotta be me.
You shouldn't have regrets. I'd say instead that I've learned a lot of lessons. Yes, I could have handled some things better. But they've also made me who I am today.
I like to grow and experiment, and as an artist, it's about kicking the bar up a little.
One thing that stays the same is my passion for music. Other than that, I've become more dedicated. I think that I really work much harder than I ever did when I first started at my craft; I'm more dedicated, and I have become a perfectionist.
I was pretty bad. When I first was diagnosed with kidney failure, my function – the function of my kidney was less than 8 percent.
When I sang my father's songs in concert, that was all people wanted to hear. I was always asking myself, 'Can I measure up?'
It's important to wallow and grieve when you have a health issue. I don't think you really get the best stuff out of life until you've had the worst stuff.
When you reach 50, what you care about is being honest, being accurate, and being an example.
I think foreign countries really do like it when American artists sing in their language. And when you go over there and say, 'Hi, how are you?' in their language, they love it. It makes them feel like you're doing it just for them. We in America take so much for granted.
I've always been an extremist. Some of us have very addictive personalities, and for some of us, that mechanism gets tripped up. Mine certainly did. I'm not cured. You never are. The recovery is a day-to-day process.
I would never do an album with 10 songs like 'Jump Start' on it. I'll only go so far to please fans.
If you don't have dialysis, absolutely, you will die. Dialysis is actually keeping me alive.
People say I look younger than the music I'm doing just because the songs are older. Hopefully I can keep my youthful look!
I was madly in love with Elvis Presley. Dad wasn't into it at all, at least not for himself as a performer. He used to say, 'Mr. Cole does not rock n' roll.'
We had some wonderful people raising us, but they still weren't our parents. As you get older, it gets distorted and convoluted, complicated, and, of course, you start looking for attention, affection, affinity in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.
By the time I approached my forties, I had the self-assurance to approach all the genres I love so deeply: R & B, rock, jazz, and pop.
My idols are Janis Joplin and Annie Lennox, who are neither of them from the typical pop culture.
I think that talented people really do have insecurities, and that is one of the things that kind of motivates them, because that's one thing they know they're good at. And when they're up on that stage, you can do no wrong. The audience is yours; they're there to see you.
I was pretty young, but because of that first record, 'Cole Espanol,' we took our first trip – well, my first trip – to Mexico.
I'd sometimes fly for 14 hours, then go straight to dialysis. I spent a little time being tired, but we managed. I'm not a pity-party person.
There were so many groups that I had in college, but I was always the solo singer. But what made it so unusual back in the day was that I was a black girl playing with all these white musicians, and I was also singing rock music on top of it.
I can laugh at myself because I've had to. Everything would have been much worse if I'd been the singing son of Nat 'King' Cole.
I think it just came to a point where I made a decision to do better with my life and health. And that is only by God's grace because there are no guarantees.
My father was a pioneer in so many ways. He was fearless, and I think that I kind of picked that up from him as well.
I don't think that my parents even imagined that I would be exposed to drugs. In those days, for some reason, it was not talked about, just like sex was not talked about.
A lot of people want to donate a kidney, but they're not in a position to because they have health issues of their own, and a lot of people need them. That's why the list is long and it takes a long time.
My first trip to Mexico was with my dad because of his Spanish records. That was back in 1958. I found a picture of me when I was eight dressed as a little senorita.
I started saying, 'I don't want to be crazy anymore.' I need to make some changes. And the first thing I started doing was just got all the men out of my life, because that was a big problem for me. That was a crutch, if you will. You know, trying to define yourself through other people or men, in particular.
Physically, I've seen a change in my life. No, I haven't had a face lift or anything like that. I've grown. That's God's countenance.
I'll never totally get away from being who I am, which first, to many, is the daughter of Nat King Cole, which became even more intensified with the 'Unforgettable' album.
I'm just really, really thankful. I'm thankful to the doctors; I'm thankful to the family that donated the kidney.
God was going to be to me the father that I never had, the father that I didn't have enough of, enough time with.
I have been on dialysis in Istanbul, Milan, Indonesia, Manila, London. It's – it's amazing.
When you have put all your faith in man and continue to be disappointed, don't you hope there is something out of there that is not of human element?
I've always adored my father's music, but ever since I'd started singing, whether it was while I was still a student at the University of Massachusetts or professionally, I avoided Dad's material.
The worst I think that I ever was, when 'Unforgettable' had come out, and not long after that I was on – I was on my way to my second divorce. And that was a crushing, crushing blow.
I like Kelly Rowland, I think that she's great. It's hard to come out of the group of Destiny's Child and still kick some butt.
It's the subtleties of a ballad that truly make it beautiful – and it's all in the way you present it to the listener.
I already had high blood pressure. I have hypertension. And I think the chemo was just too much for my kidneys. And they went into failure. And that was September 12th of 2008. And the doctor rushed me right to the hospital.
My friend was on dialysis for six years before he got a new kidney. I was on dialysis for eight months. I'm almost not even the typical person who has kidney failure.
The medication I had to take was a form of chemotherapy. You feel like death every day. No appetite. No energy. But the treatment worked. It cured my liver 80 per cent but compromised my kidneys.
We are born with two kidneys and only need one to survive. Maybe God gave us the other one so that we could give it away.
Las Vegas has the type of audience – and they haven't changed since my father's days – they're still boring and bored. And there's only that handful of artists that they really enjoy and know how to respond to.
I never got to make that transition from little girl to young woman… and that really screws you up.
Being my dad's daughter has allowed me to do a lot of things that maybe another artist might not be able to do or wouldn't be necessarily embraced doing.
There's inevitably something missing when you grow up in this kind of an environment when your parents travel a lot. When your father is famous, you are looked at and expected of. There are standards you need to meet.
I think people hear the warmth in my voice and the friendliness, and they think: 'Oh, she must be a very nice person'.
I was determined to create my own identity. My first hits, in fact, were straight-up rhythm and blues. My voice was compared to Aretha Franklin's – though, for my money, no one compares to Aretha.