Renowned R&B and jazz vocalist Natalie Cole died on Thursday at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was 65.
The daughter of the late Nat King Cole died of congestive heart failure related to ongoing health issues, CBS News has confirmed.
Cole faced many medical problems in recent years. In February 2008, the singer announced she was diagnosed with hepatitis C. A year later she underwent a kidney transplant. This fall she was forced to cancel a batch of tour dates because of medical issues.
Her family released a statement saying, "It is with heavy hearts that we bring to you all the news of our Mother and sister's passing. Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived ... with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever."
Cole had a successful music career spanning decades. Born in 1950 to Nat King Cole and his wife, Maria Ellington Cole, Cole grew up in Los Angeles and became interested in music at an early age.
Cole told CBS News in 2006 that her father saw star quality in her early on. "He did say to a few people, 'I think she's got it.' Whatever it is, he saw that," she said. "And I remember when I first sang with my dad really professionally I had to audition. He said, 'You're gonna have to show me that you can do this.'"
She took that star quality and put it to good use, joining her dad for the first time onstage at the tender age of 11. She was 15 when her father died of lung cancer in 1965.
During college, she started singing in small clubs. Cole soon rose to stardom in 1975 with her debut album, "Inseparable," featuring the No. 1 single, "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)." It earned Cole her first two Grammys (for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance). Two years later she would find herself on the charts again -- this time with "I've Got Love on My Mind," which topped the R&B charts. Not too long after -- in 1979 -- she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Cole returned in 1987 with "Everlasting," an album which garnered three hit singles: "Jump Start (My Heart)," the Top 10 ballad "I Live For Your Love," and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac." The success continued with the 1989 hit ballad, "Miss You Like Crazy."
In 1991, Cole had a huge hit with "Unforgettable ... With Love," featuring a virtual 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 around the world. She was also nominated for an Emmy in 1992 for a TV performance of her dad's music.
A prolific artist, Cole released many albums throughout her career. Her most recent release, "Natalie Cole en Espanol," came out in 2013, marking her first Spanish-language album. "This album is not so much a tribute to my father as it is to Latin music," she said in a statement at the time. "My whole thing was, if I'm going to do this as a first-timer, a non-Spanish-speaking American, I need to pay tribute to the music. I need to honor it because I'm not entitled to just sing it any kind of way. I have a duty to make it real, to pick authentic, beautiful, traditional Latin songs. And that's what we went for."
Cole also graced the small screen throughout her career, appearing in "Law & Order," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Touched By an Angel." 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 battle to overcome drug addiction. In the book, she opened up about her heroin, crack cocaine and alcohol addiction, along with the six months spent in rehab in 1983.
Cole released a second memoir in 2010 titled, "Love Brought Me Back," chronicling her quest for a kidney transplant.
About the challenges in her life, Cole said on her website, "You know, I may be down for a minute, but once I figure it out, I can't stay there for too long."
Cole was married three times. Her son, Robbie Yancy, was born in 1977.