Tributes to Natalie Cole: Tony Bennett, Rosie O'Donnell, More Pay Respects to Late Singer

The Unforgettable singer died on Dec. 31 due to complications from an ongoing medical condition

Photo: Frank Hoensch/Redferns/Getty

In the wake of Natalie Cole’s death, many have taken to social media to pay their respects to the late Grammy-winning singer.

The “Unforgettable” songbird, 65, died Thursday in Los Angeles of complications from an ongoing medical condition.

“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,” said son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole in a statement.

“We are very saddened to learn of the passing of one of music s most celebrated and iconic women, Natalie Cole,” Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said in a statement about the nine time Grammy winner. “Natalie followed her legendary father into the music business with magnificent hits like ‘Inseparable,’ ‘This Will Be’ and ‘Unforgettable,’ achieving multiplatinum, worldwide success in her own right.”

Portnow added: “We ve lost a wonderful, highly cherished artist and our heartfelt condolences go out to Natalie s family, friends, her many collaborators, as well as to all who have been entertained by her exceptional talent.”

Grammy Awards Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich also released a statement in which he praised the power of Cole’s voice: “Natalie possessed one of those magical voices that grabbed you from the first note. It could sound like honey, but when she wanted to belt, she could keep up with the best of them. In a way, and not just in lineage, Natalie was the connector between the great singers of her father and Ella’s generation, and the great female voices who were to dominate in the last 25 years. I’ll never forget when we did Unforgettable as a duet with her father’s recording on a grammy hall of fame show, years before she recorded it. Magical!!!”

Reverend Jesse Jackson commented on the singer’s passing Friday morning.

Fellow jazz singer Tony Bennett shared a picture of himself and Cole on Instagram. Bennett, 89, recorded a version of "Watch What Happens" with Cole for his album Duets II.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Natalie Cole, as I have cherished the long friendship with her, her father Nat and the family over the years,” he wrote in the caption. “Natalie was an exceptional jazz singer and it was an honor to have recorded and performed with her on several occasions. She was a lovely and generous person who will be greatly missed.”

“We will miss her like crazy,” Rosie O’Donnell said in a tweet referencing the singer’s song “Miss You Like Crazy.”

“Taking a moment in the new year: RIP Ms. Natalie Cole,” tweeted Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth.

Many others also paid tribute to Cole, including Lenny Kravitz, Andy Cohen and Arsenio Hall.

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