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NATALIE COLE has had an incredible life. Daughter of one of America’s most beloved entertainers, Nat King Cole, she has built a phenomenally successful singing career that spans 30 years, winning multiple Grammy awards, selling millions of records, and appearing in films and on television. Her recent release Leavin’ (2006) is an inspiring work that finds Cole returning to her soulful roots after a decade enjoying unprecedented global success as an interpreter of the standards.
While Cole appeared to live a storybook life, behind the public persona, it was not always easy. Her father died when she was young and despite her remarkable career, she eventually ended her marriages and overcame harrowing substance abuse. With honesty, grace, and humor, she now shares her journey and the life lessons she has learned along the way, advising us to make the right choices to achieve a better quality life. She addresses her own weaknesses and reveals how, through forgiving, loving, and understanding oneself, anyone can rise from the ashes to find success and rediscover hope.
Cole’s career began in 1975, when she became the first black singer to win a Grammy in the “Best New Artist” category for her debut album, Inseparable (1991). She also won a Grammy for “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.” She went on to win a Grammy for “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance” for “Sophisticated Lady (She’s A Different Lady)” in 1976. During the remainder of the ’80s, Cole worked with a number of different labels and producers, and continued to record more hits like “Miss You Like Crazy” and a smash cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac,” which effectively reinvented a retro rocker into a major dance hit.
Cole’s career exploded again with the release of Unforgettable: With Love (1991), an album that went to No. 1 on Billboard’s album charts and won Grammy awards for “Album of the Year” and “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance,” while the song “Unforgettable” – which used groundbreaking technology to allow Cole to duet with her late father’s voice – received a Grammy for “Record of The Year.”
Following this wildly popular and influential release, Cole’s career took a jazzier turn, and her recordings won further Grammy accolades during the ’90s, including “Best Jazz Vocal” for “Take A Look” in 1993 and “Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals” for “When I Fall in Love” in 1996. She went on to record many other successful albums during the ’90s and beyond.
Cole is also the author of the stunning memoir Angel on My Shoulder, which was made into a television movie, The Natalie Cole Story. As an actress, she has made dramatic appearances in films and on television programs including I’ll Fly Away, Touched by an Angel, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Grey’s Anatomy.