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By Anna Fitzpatrick, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Nine times Grammy award winning singer Natalie Cole will be performing at Vivo Rio on April 16th. The daughter of Jazz legend Nat King Cole has forged a successful career in her own right, first as an R&B singer and later embracing the Jazz sounds that made her father a household name.

Natalie Cole performing, photo by dbking/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

The Brazilian leg of a tour which promotes her most recent album Still Unforgettable, will see the singer performing in three other cities: Brasília, Belo Horizonte and São Paulo before capping it off in Rio.

In 1997, the last time Cole was in Rio she stayed in the Copacabana Palace Hotel, after apparently remembering how her father had loved it there.

The new tour called “An Evening with Natalie Cole” has received rave reviews from fans so far.  Tickets will cost upwards of R$170.

Still Unforgettable was released in 2008 and won Cole a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. However, due to health reasons Cole had to halt the promotion of the album midway through the planned schedule.

During the recording of the album the singer was diagnosed with Hepatitis C as a result of her past drug use. She underwent chemotherapy and later a kidney transplant as a result. Since the kidney transplant Cole has become a spokesperson for the University Kidney Research Organization (UKRO) and now works to raise awareness about kidney disease.

As the daughter of internationally renowned singer Nat King Cole, Natalie grew up amongst the Great and Good of the Jazz world. Referring to her childhood, Cole described her family as “the black Kennedy’s”.

Yet, she has also spoken about the difficulties of growing up in such a famous family. The pressures of which she attributed to her struggle with drugs that nearly ruined her career. Arrested for possession of heroin in Canada in 1975 she is now sober.

Jazz Legend Nat King Cole William, photo by P. Gottlieb/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

Aged only fifteen when her father died of lung cancer in 1965, she has frequently spoken about how she struggled to come to terms with his illness and subsequent death.

With musical talent clearly in the family (her mother was a singer in the Duke Ellington Orchestra) she recorded her first vocals at the age of six when she sang on The Christmas Song with her father. She released her first album Inseparable in 1975.

The single This Will Be (an Everlasting Love) hit the number one spot and she gained two Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.  In her career she has released 22 albums.

Despite a successful career as an R&B artist Cole decided to release an album dedicated to classic American songs.  Titled Unforgettable…with Love the album also featured a duet with her late father, made possible with technology allowing the voices to be sound like they are singing together.

Selling more than 14,000,000 copies the album spent more than five weeks on the number one spot and earned Cole a further six Grammy awards. The release of the album symbolized that she had moved on from living in her father’s shadow.

Concert dates:

Brasília

Where: Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center

When: April 12th

Belo Horizonte

Where: Palácio das Artes

When: April 13th

São Paulo

Where: Via Funchal

When: April 15th

Rio de Janeiro

Where: Vivo Rio

When: April 16th

 

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