Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
UPDATE: Natalie Cole's family released the following statement Thursday afternoon regarding the late singer's health condition before her passing:
"[Cole] responded well to pulmonary arterial hypertension-specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts world-wide, but eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder."
The nine-time Grammy-winning R&B and soul singer and daughter of jazz icon Nat King Cole, has died at age 65.
She passed away on Thursday, New Year's Eve, at a Los Angeles hospital after suffering "complications from ongoing health issues," her son, Robert Yancy, and identical twin sisters, Timolin Cole and Casey Cole, said in a statement obtained by E! News.
"It is with heavy hearts that we bring to you all the news of our Mother and sister's passing," they said. "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."
Natalie rose to fame in the mid-70s and released hit songs such as "This Will Be," "I've Got Love on My Mind," "Pink Cadillac," "Miss You Like Crazy" and a virtual duet of her father's signature song "Unforgettable." He died in 1965 at age 45.
Natalie had recently canceled several concerts, including two New Year's Eve shows at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, due to health reasons.
In 2008, Natalie was diagnosed with hepatitis C and underwent a kidney transplant a year later. In her 2010 memoir Love Brought Me Back: A Journey of Loss and Gain, she reveals her doctor told her that her past heroin abuse could have spurred her to contract the disease, which remained dormant in her body for more than 20 years.
Following Natalie's death, many celebrities took to Twitter to mourn the singer.
"#NatalieCole, sister beloved & of substance and sound," Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote on Twitter. "May her soul rest in peace. #Inseperable."
"In college, I named my bass guitar Natalie! As a young stand up comic I opened for Natalie Cole," tweeted comic, actor and TV personality Arsenio Hall. "She was all that, in all ways!"
Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy, which votes on the Grammys, also released a statement.
"We are very saddened to learn of the passing of one of music's most celebrated and iconic women, Natalie Cole," he said. "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."
(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)