BMI mourns the loss of R&B great Natalie Cole, who passed away on December 31, 2015, at the age of 65. The velvet-voiced star earned the Best New Artist GRAMMY for her 1975 eponymous debut album, as well as a Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female GRAMMY for “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love).” Alongside later hits like “I’ve Got Love on My Mind,” the longtime BMI affiliate earned greatest renown for carrying on the storied legacy of her father, Nat King Cole. Unforgettable … With Love, the 1991 album that found Cole covering favorites from her father’s canon of hits, marked the most successful phase of the singer-songwriter’s career, matching her versatile vocal talents with the traditional pop standards that made her father a legend. Her stirring rendition of “Unforgettable,” in particular, cemented her superstar status, prompting the album to sell more than 14 million copies worldwide, and earn six GRAMMY awards in 1992, including Record of the Year.
Her career elevated by that massive success, Cole continued to work in this vein, garnering further GRAMMY attention in later years, including a win for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for 2008’s Still Unforgettable. A brilliant talent, she will be sadly missed by her BMI family.