SOUL singer Natalie Cole is dead at the age of 65, according to TMZ.
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,” her rep said in a statement.
“Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever.”
Natalie famously battled with drug addiction after the tragic loss of several family members – including her father, mother and sister, Cookie.
For years she was addicted to heroin before she successfully completed rehab in 1983.
The This Will Be hitmaker also suffered from hepatitis C and had kidney failure and ultimately ended up receiving a kidney transplant from a deceased fan.
In an interview with The Times in 2008, she opened up about an illness that caused fluid-filled lungs and rapidly deteriorating kidneys.
“I didn’t realise how close I was to checking out,” she said.
Her 1991 hit Unforgettable: With Love gave the superstar her biggest hit, selling more than 6 million copies worldwide and was celebrated with a string of accolades.
Natalie picked up several Grammy nominations throughout her glittering career and eventually won her first in 1976 for Best New Artist and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.
The following year she walked away with her second for the song Sophisticated Lady.
Her ninth and final Grammy came in 2009 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Still Unforgettable.
But her move to music was some what accidental. The musical icon was a pre-med student at the University of Massachusetts when a friend — who was singing with a local group — fell ill and asked Natalie to fill in for him after hearing her singing at parties. The performance resulted in Natalie leaving her medical career behind to take his place in the group.
(READ MORE: http://www.express.co.uk/celebrity-news/630761/Natalie-Cole-dead-at-65-heart-failure-This-Will-Be-Nat-King-Coke-daughter)