The eventual cause of death came as a result of a condition she had called Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension — or IPAH.
“Following a successful kidney transplant, Natalie Cole was diagnosed about five years ago as having a condition called Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (IPAH),” the family revealed in a statement to media. “This is a very serious and progressive disorder in which the small blood vessels of the lungs are markedly narrowed or obstructed.”
“She responded well to PAH-specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts worldwide, but eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder, despite modern therapies,” they concluded.
Cole, who was 65 at the time of her passing, was the daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole and former Duke Ellington Orchestra singer Maria Hawkins Ellington. Natalie first appeared on one of her father’s albums at age six.
Natalie Cole‘s greatest musical success came in 1991 with the release of “Unforgettable …With Love,” which saw Cole sing covers of a number of her father’s most famous songs. She won five Grammy awards that year, including Album of the Year.
Over the course of her career, Cole won nine Grammys in all, in addition to three American Music Awards, the Songwriters Hall of Fame Hitmaker Award, and two NAACP Image Awards.
Cole admitted in her 2000 autobiography to a history of drug abuse. She also suffered from Hepatitis C and a liver disease in 2008.