Natalie Cole was born into music, but she took a detour in life before finding global fame as a vocalist. We remember the late singer on her birthday.

Natalie Marie Cole was born Feb. 6th, 1950 in Los Angeles, Calif. to Nat King Cole and his wife, jazz singer Maria Cole. As a young girl, Cole sang with her parents but after the death of her father from cancer in 1965, she forged her own path. She went on to study child psychology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, earning her degree in 1972.

That same year, Cole began singing and gigging with her band Black Magic. Clubs initially booked her due to her famous father, but were reportedly disappointed that Cole performed rock and R&B covers instead of the sultry jazz stylings of her father.

In 1975, Cole’s first album Inseparable made its debut and she won two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Performance. From there, her career took off to the tune of more than 30 million records sold worldwide.

Cole’s career stalled in the ‘80’s due to her struggles with drug addiction, but she bounced back with perhaps her best-known album Unforgettable…With Love in 1991, which featured her singing along with her father’s classic vocal tracks.

Natalie Cole passed in 2015 at the age of 65.

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