Not the Flashback Friday I had originally planned, but in light of her early death this week, there should only be one artist that I should feature :(
It can't have been easy trying to be a credible music artist when your father is legendary singer Nat King Cole, but Natalie managed to step out of her fathers shadow and become successful in her own right, selling over 30 million records worldwide. She was also adept at switching genres, with her career spanning Soul, R&B, Jazz, Pop and Soft Rock.
Her career began in the 1970's, when she started singing in a psychadelic rock group, upsetting club owners who had booked her in the hopes of her doing a carbon copy of her dad's music. And when it came to getting a record deal, her name certainly didn't open any doors for her as only one record company decided to pick her up.
Their faith was rewarded with a string of huge selling R&B albums, winning her several Grammy awards and her being dubbed "the new Aretha Franklin", which understandably upset the older one ;) Follow up albums dabbled in soul and funk, and she was the first female artist to have two platinum sellers in the space of a single year. She was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, but the early 1980s saw her career go off the rails big time and between 1981 and 1983 she was severely addicted to both cocaine and heroin. It took an intervention and six months in rehab for her to begin to turn things around.
In 1987, she returned to the world of music with a more pop sound and hit big with a cover of Bruce Springsteen's Pink Cadillac and 1989's Miss You Like Crazy, which is the point where I discovered her.
I couldn't work out which to include, so they are both here.
Although Miss You Like Crazy is very 80's in its production (and sounds very much like Where Do Broken Hearts Go by Whitney), she resists the temptation to oversing it, which makes it sound very sincere. It also became her biggest UK hit, reaching number two in the singles charts.
Of course her greatest success was still to come, with her Unforgettable album, where she duetted with her father going seven times Platinum and winning a clutch of awards at that years Grammys, including one for Best Album.
She continued to record and tour, with continued success until 2008, when she announced that she had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, courtesy of her drug abuse all those years ago. Four months after that she suffered kidney failure and was one regular dialysis until a replacement organ could be found.
She went back to work as soon as possible, releasing two more albums, including a Hispanic one in 2013 but her health was never the same and she died in December 2015 after a long illness.
Poll Time! (X2!)
Yes! An automotive triumph!
No! An old rustbucket!
Miss You Like Crazy?
Yes! Come back soon!
No! Never return!